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Om! Having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara the foremost of male beings, and the goddess Saraswati also, must the word Jaya be uttered.
Janamejaya said, “O thou foremost of regenerate ones, deceitfully defeated at dice by the sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors, incensed by those wicked ones that thus brought about a fierce animosity, and addressed in language that was so cruel, what did the Kuru princes, my ancestors—the sons of Pritha—(then) do? How also did the sons of Pritha, equal unto Sakra in prowess, deprived of affluence and suddenly overwhelmed with misery, pass their days in the forest? Who followed the steps of those princes plunged in excess of affliction? And how did those high souled ones bear themselves and derive their sustenance, and where did they put up? And, O illustrious ascetic and foremost of Brahmanas, how did those twelve years (of exile) of those warriors who were slayers of foes, pass away in the forest? And undeserving of pain, how did that princess, the best of her sex, devoted to her husbands, eminently virtuous, and always speaking the truth, endure that painful exile in the forest? O thou of ascetic wealth tell me all this in detail, for, O Brahmana, I desire to hear thee narrate the history of those heroes possessed of abundant prowess and lustre. Truly my curiosity is great.”
Vaisampayana said, “Thus defeated at dice and incensed by the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors, the sons of Pritha set out from Hastinapura. And issuing through Vardhamana gate of the city, the Pandavas bearing their weapons and accompanied by Draupadi set out in a northerly direction. Indrasena and others, with servants numbering altogether fourteen, with their wives, followed them on swift cars. And the citizens learning of their departure became overwhelmed with sorrow, and began to censure Bhishma and Vidura and Drona and Gautama. And having met together they thus addressed one another fearlessly.
“’Alas, our families, we ourselves, and our homes are all gone, when the wicked Duryodhana, backed by the son of Suvala, by Karna and Dussasana, aspireth to this kingdom. And, Oh, our families, our (ancestral) usages, our virtue and prosperity, are all doomed where this sinful wretch supported by wretches as sinful aspireth to the kingdom! And, Oh, how can happiness be there where these are not! Duryodhana beareth malice towards all superiors, hath taken leave of good conduct, and quarreleth with those that are near to him in blood. Covetous and vain and mean, he is cruel by nature. The whole earth is doomed when Duryodhana becometh its ruler. Thither, therefore, let us proceed whither the merciful and high-minded sons of Pandu with passions under control and victorious over foes, and possessed of modesty and renown, and devoted to pious practices, repair!’”
Vaisampayana said, “And saying this, the citizens went after the Pandavas, and having met them, they all, with joined hands, thus addressed the sons of Kunti and Madri.
“’Blest be ye! Where will ye go, leaving us in grief? We will follow you whithersoever ye will go! Surely have we been distressed upon learning that ye have been deceitfully vanquished by relentless enemies! It behoveth you not to forsake us that are your loving subjects and devoted friends always seeking your welfare and employed in doing what is agreeable to you! We desire not to be overwhelmed in certain destruction living in the dominions of the Kuru king. Ye bulls among men, listen as we indicate the merits and demerits springing respectively from association with what is good and bad! As cloth, water, the ground, and sesame seeds are perfumed by association with flowers, even so are qualities ever the product of association. Verily association with fools produceth an illusion that entangleth the mind, as daily communion with the good and the wise leadeth to the practice of virtue. Therefore, they that desire emancipation should associate with those that are wise and old and honest and pure in conduct and possessed of ascetic merit. They should be waited upon whose triple possessions, viz., knowledge (of the Vedas), origin and acts, are all pure, and association with them is even superior to (the study of the) scriptures. Devoid of the religious acts as we are, we shall yet reap religious merit by association with the righteous, as we should come by sin by waiting upon the sinful. The very sight and touch of the dishonest, and converse and association with them, cause diminution of virtue, and men (that are doomed to these), never attain purity of mind. Association with the base impaireth the understanding, as, indeed, with the indifferent maketh it indifferent, while communion with the good ever exalteth it. All those attributes which are spoken of in the world as the sources of religious merit, of worldly prosperity and sensual pleasures, which are regarded by the people, extolled in the Vedas, and approved by the well-behaved, exist in you, separately and jointly! Therefore, desirous of our own welfare, we wish to live amongst you who possess those attributes!’
“Yudhishthira said, ’Blessed are we since the people with the Brahmanas at their head, moved by affection and compassion credit us with merits we have not. I, however, with my brothers, would ask all of you to do one thing. Ye should not, through affection and pity for us, act otherwise! Our grandfather Bhishma, the king (Dhritarashtra), Vidura, my mother and most of my well-wishers, are all in the city of Hastinapura. Therefore, if ye are minded to seek our welfare, cherish ye them with care, uniting together as they are overwhelmed with sorrow and afflictions. Grieved at our departure, ye have come far! Go ye back, and let your hearts be directed with tenderness towards the relatives I entrust to you as pledges! This, of all others, is the one act upon which my heart is set, and by doing this ye would give me great satisfaction and pay me your best regards!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Thus exhorted by Yudhishthira the just, the people in a body set up a loud wail exclaiming,—Alas, O king! And afflicted and overwhelmed with sorrow on remembering the virtues of Pritha’s son, they unwillingly retraced their steps asking leave of the Pandavas.
“The citizens having ceased to follow, the Pandavas ascended their cars, and setting out reached (the site of) the mighty banian tree called Pramana on the banks of the Ganges. And reaching the site of the banian tree about the close of the day, the heroic sons of Pandu purified themselves by touching the sacred water, and passed the night there. And afflicted with woe they spent that night taking water alone as their sole sustenance. Certain Brahmanas belonging to both classes, viz., those that maintained the sacrificial fire and those that maintained it not, who had, with their disciples and relatives, out of affection followed the Pandavas thither also passed the night with them. And surrounded by those utterers of Brahma, the king shone resplendent in their midst. And that evening, at once beautiful and terrible, those Brahmanas having lighted their (sacred) fires, began to chant the Vedas and hold mutual converse. And those foremost of Brahmanas, with swan-sweet voices spent the night, comforting that best of Kurus—the king.”
Vaisampayana said, “When that night passed away and day broke in, those Brahmanas who supported themselves by mendicancy, stood before the Pandavas of exalted deeds, who were about to enter the forest. Then king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, addressed them, saying, ’Robbed of our prosperity and kingdom, robbed of everything, we are about to enter the deep woods in sorrow, depending for our food on fruits and roots, and the produce of the chase. The forest too is full of dangers, and abounds with reptiles and beasts of prey. It appeareth to me that ye will certainly have to suffer much privation and misery there. The sufferings of the Brahmanas might overpower even the gods. That they would overwhelm me is too certain. Therefore, O Brahmana, go ye back whithersoever ye list!’
“The Brahmanas replied, ’O king, our path is even that on which ye are for setting out! It behoveth thee not, therefore, to forsake us who are thy devoted admirers practising the true religion! The very gods have compassion upon their worshippers,—specially upon Brahmanas of regulated lives!’
“Yudhishthira said, ’Ye regenerate ones, I too am devoted to the Brahmanas! But this destitution that hath overtaken me overwhelmed me with confusion! These my brothers that are to procure fruits and roots and the deer (of the forest) are stupefied with grief arising from their afflictions and on account of the distress of Draupadi and the loss of our kingdom! Alas, as they are distressed, I cannot employ them in painful tasks!’
“The Brahmanas said, ’Let no anxiety, O king, in respect of our maintenance, find a place in thy heart! Ourselves providing our own food, we shall follow thee, and by meditation and saying our prayers we shall compass thy welfare while by pleasant converse we shall entertain thee and be cheered ourselves.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’Without doubt, it must be as ye say, for I am ever pleased with the company of the regenerate ones! But my fallen condition maketh me behold in myself an object of reproach! How shall I behold you all, that do not deserve to bear trouble, out of love for me painfully subsisting upon food procured by your own toil? Oh, fie upon the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Saying this, the weeping king sat himself down upon the ground. Then a learned Brahmana, Saunaka by name versed in self-knowledge and skilled in the Sankhya system of yoga, addressed the king, saying, ’Causes of grief by thousands, and causes of fear by hundreds, day after day, overwhelm the ignorant but not the wise. Surely, sensible men like thee never suffer themselves to be deluded by acts that are opposed to true knowledge, fraught with every kind of evil, and destructive of salvation. O king, in thee dwelleth that understanding furnished with the eight attributes which is said to be capable of providing against all evils and which resulteth from a study of the Sruti (Vedas) and scriptures! And men like unto thee are never stupefied, on the accession of poverty or an affliction overtaking their friends, through bodily or mental uneasiness! Listen, I shall tell the slokas which were chanted of old by the illustrious Janaka touching the subject of controlling the self! This world is afflicted with both bodily and mental suffering. Listen now to the means of allaying it as I indicate them both briefly and in detail. Disease, contact with painful things, toil and want of objects desired.—these are the four causes that induce bodily suffering. And as regards disease, it may be allayed by the application of medicine, while mental ailments are cured by seeking to forget them by yoga-meditation. For this reason, sensible physicians first seek to allay the mental sufferings of their patients by agreeable converse and the offer of desirable objects. And as a hot iron bar thrust into a jar maketh the water therein hot, even so doth mental grief bring on bodily agony. And as water quencheth fire, so doth true knowledge allay mental disquietude. And the mind attaining ease, the body findeth ease also. It seemeth that affection is the root of all mental sorrow. It is affection that maketh every creature miserable and bringeth on every kind of woe. Verily affection is the root of all misery and of all fear, of joy and grief of every kind of pain. From affection spring all purposes, and it is from affection that spring the love of worldly goods! Both of these (latter) are sources of evil, though the first (our
“Yudhishthira said, ’O Brahmana, this my desire of wealth is not for enjoying it when obtained. It is only for the support of the Brahmanas that I desire it and not because I am actuated by avarice! For what purpose, O Brahmana, doth one like us lead a domestic life, if he cannot cherish and support those that follow him? All creatures are seen to divide the food (they procure) amongst those that depend on them. So should a person leading a domestic life give a share of his food to Yatis and Brahmacharins that have renounced cooking for themselves. The houses of the good men can never be in want of grass (for seat), space (for rest), water (to wash and assuage thirst), and fourthly, sweet words. To the weary a bed,—to one fatigued with standing, a seat,—to the thirsty, water,—and to the hungry, food should ever be given. To a guest are due pleasant looks and a cheerful heart and sweet words. The host, rising up, should advance towards the guest, offer him a seat, and duly worship him. Even this is eternal morality. They that perform not the Agnihotra, do not wait upon bulls, nor cherish their kinsmen and guests and friends and sons and wives and servants, are consumed with sin for such neglect. None should cook his food for himself alone and none should slay an animal without dedicating it to the gods, the pitris, and guests. Nor should one eat of that food which hath not been duly dedicated to the gods and pitris. By scattering food on the earth, morning and evening, for (the behoof of) dogs and Chandalas and birds, should a person perform the Viswedeva sacrifice. He that eateth the Vighasa, is regarded as eating ambrosia. What remaineth in a sacrifice after dedication to the gods and the pitris is regarded as ambrosia; and what remaineth after feeding the guest is called Vighasa and is equivalent to ambrosia itself. Feeding a guest is equivalent to a sacrifice, and the pleasant looks the host casteth upon the guest, the attention he devoteth to him, the
 This seems to be the obvious. There is a different reading however. For Drie-cyate—seen, some texts have Sasyate—applauded. Nilakantha imagines that the meaning is “As distribution (of food) amongst the various classes of beings like the gods, the Pitris, &c., is applauded &c., &c.”
 A form of sacrifice which consists in pouring oblations of clarified butter with prayers into a blazing fire. It is obligatory on Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, except those that accept certain vows of great austerity.
 The Viswedeva sacrifice
is the offer of food to all
creatures of the earth (by scattering a portion).
 A gift. It may be of various kinds. The fees paid to Brahmanas assisting at sacrifices and religious rites, such as offering oblations to the dead, are Dakshinas, as also gifts to Brahmanas on other occasions particularly when they are fed, it being to this day the custom never to feed a Brahmana without paying him a pecuniary fee. There can be no sacrifice, no religious rite, without Dakshina.
“Saunaka said, ’Alas, this world is full of contradictions! That which shameth the good, gratifieth the wicked! Alas, moved by ignorance and passion and slaves of their own senses, even fools perform many acts of (apparent merit) to gratify in after-life their appetites! With eyes open are these men led astray by their seducing senses, even as a charioteer, who hath lost his senses, by restive and wicked steeds! When any of the six senses findeth its particular object, the desire springeth up in the heart to enjoy that particular object. And thus when one’s heart proceedeth to enjoy the objects of any particular sense a wish is entertained which in its turn giveth birth to a resolve. And finally, like unto an insect falling into a flame from love of light, the man falleth into the fire of temptation, pierced by the shafts of the object of enjoyment discharged by the desire constituting the seed of the resolve! And thenceforth blinded by sensual pleasure which he seeketh without stint, and steeped in dark ignorance and folly which he mistaketh for a state of happiness, he knoweth not himself! And like unto a wheel that is incessantly rolling, every creature, from ignorance and deed and desire, falleth into various states in this world, wandering from one birth to another, and rangeth the entire circle of existences from a Brahma to the point of a blade of grass, now in water, now on land, and now against in the air!
“’This then is the career of those that are without knowledge. Listen now to the course of the wise they that are intent on profitable virtue, and are desirous of emancipation! The Vedas enjoin act but renounce (interest in) action. Therefore, shouldst thou act, renouncing Abhimana, performance of sacrifices, study (of the Vedas), gifts, penance, truth (in both speech and act), forgiveness, subduing the senses, and renunciation of desire,—these have been declared to be the eight (cardinal) duties constituting the true path. Of these, the four first pave the way to the world of the pitris. And these should be practised without Abhimana. The four last are always observed by the pious, to attain the heaven of the gods. And the pure in spirit should ever follow these eight paths. Those who wish to subdue the world for purpose of salvation, should ever act fully renouncing motives, effectually subduing their senses, rigidly observing particular vows, devotedly serving their preceptors, austerely regulating their fare, diligently studying the Vedas, renouncing action as mean and restraining their hearts. By renouncing desire and aversion the gods have attained prosperity. It is by virtue of their wealth of yoga that the Rudras, and the Sadhyas, and the Adityas and the Vasus, and the twin Aswins, rule the creatures. Therefore, O son of Kunti, like unto them, do thou, O Bharata, entirely refraining from action with motive, strive to attain success in yoga and by ascetic austerities. Thou hast already achieved such success so far as thy debts to thy ancestors, both male and female concerned, and that success also which is derived from action (sacrifices). Do thou, for serving the regenerate ones endeavour to attain success in penances. Those that are crowned with ascetic success, can, by virtue of that success, do whatever they list; do thou, therefore, practising asceticism realise all thy wishes.’”
 Reference to self, i.e. without the motive of bettering one’s own self, or without any motive at all. (This contains the germ of the doctrine preached more elaborately in the Bhagavad gita.)
 This Yoga consists,
in their case, of a combination of
attributes by negation of the contrary ones, i.e. by
renunciation of motives in all they do.
Vaisampayana said, “Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, thus addressed by Saunaka, approached his priest and in the midst of his brothers said, ’The Brahmanas versed in the Vedas are following me who am departing for the forest. Afflicted with many calamities I am unable to support them. I cannot abandon them, nor have I the power to offer them sustenance: Tell me, O holy one, what should be done by me in such a pass.’”
Vaisampayana said, “After reflecting for a moment seeking to find out the (proper) course by his yoga powers, Dhaumya, that foremost of all virtuous men, addressed Yudhishthira, in these words, ’In days of old, all living beings that had been created were sorely afflicted with hunger. And like a father (unto all of them), Savita (the sun) took compassion upon them. And going first into the northern declension, the sun drew up water by his rays, and coming back to the southern declension, stayed over the earth, with his heat centered in himself. And while the sun so stayed over the earth, the lord of the vegetable world (the moon), converting the effects of the solar heat (vapours) into clouds and pouring them down in the shape of water, caused plants to spring up. Thus it is the sun himself, who, drenched by the lunar influence, is transformed, upon the sprouting of seeds, into holy vegetable furnished with the six tastes. And it is these which constitute the food of all creatures upon the earth. Thus the food that supporteth the lives of creatures is instinct with solar energy, and the sun is, therefore, the father of all creatures. Do thou, hence, O Yudhishthira, take refuge even in him. All illustrious monarchs of pure descent and deeds are known to have delivered their people by practising high asceticism. The great Karttavirya, and Vainya and Nahusha, had all, by virtue of ascetic meditation preceded by vows, delivered their people from heavy afflictions. Therefore, O virtuous one, as thou art purified by the acts do thou likewise, entering upon a file of austerities. O Bharata, virtuously support the regenerate ones.’”
Janamejaya said, “How did that bull among the Kurus, king Yudhishthira, for the sake of the Brahmanas adore the sun of wonderful appearance?”
Vaisampayana said, “Listen attentively, O king, purifying thyself and withdrawing thy mind from every other thing. And, O king of kings, appoint thou a time. I will tell thee everything in detail, And, O illustrious one, listen to the one hundred and eight names (of the sun) as they were disclosed of old by Dhaumya to the high-souled son of Pritha. Dhaumya said, ’Surya, Aryaman, Bhaga, Twastri, Pusha, Arka, Savitri, Ravi, Gabhastimat, Aja, Kala, Mrityu, Dhatri, Prabhakara, Prithibi, Apa, Teja, Kha, Vayu, the sole stay, Soma, Vrihaspati, Sukra, Budha, Angaraka, Indra, Vivaswat, Diptanshu, Suchi, Sauri, Sanaichara, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaisravana, Yama, Vaidyutagni, Jatharagni, Aindhna, Tejasampati, Dharmadhwaja, Veda-karttri, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita, Treta, Dwapara, Kali, full of every impurity, Kala, Kastha, Muhurtta, Kshapa, Yama, and Kshana; Samvatsara-kara, Aswattha, Kalachakra, Bibhavasu, Purusha, Saswata, Yogin, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana, Kaladhyaksha, Prajadhyaksha, Viswakarma, Tamounda, Varuna, Sagara, Ansu, Jimuta, Jivana, Arihan, Bhutasraya, Bhutapati, Srastri, Samvartaka, Vanhi, Sarvadi, Alolupa, Ananta, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada,
Vaisampayana continued, “Having heard from Dhaumya these words suitable to the occasion, Yudhishthira the just, with heart concentrated within itself and purifying it duly, became engaged in austere meditation, moved by the desire of supporting the Brahmanas. And worshipping the maker of day with offerings of flowers and other articles, the king performed his ablutions. And standing in the stream, he turned his face towards the god of day. And touching the water of the Ganges the virtuous Yudhishthira with senses under complete control and depending upon air alone for his sustenance, stood there with rapt soul engaged in pranayama. And having purified himself and restrained his speech, he began to sing the hymn of praise (to the sun).
“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou art, O sun, the eye of the universe. Thou art the soul of all corporeal existences. Thou art the origin of all things. Thou art the embodiment of the acts of all religious men. Thou art the refuge of those versed in the Sankhya philosophy (the mysteries of the soul), and thou art the support of the Yogins. Thou art a door unfastened with bolts. Thou art the refuge of those wishing for emancipation. Thou sustainest and discoverest the world, and sanctifiest and supportest it from pure compassion. Brahmanas versed in the Vedas appearing before thee, adore thee in due time, reciting the hymns from the respective branches (of the Vedas) they refer. Thou art the adored of the Rishis. The Siddhas, and the Charanas and the Gandharvas and the Yakshas, and the Guhyakas, and the Nagas, desirous of obtaining boons follow thy car coursing through the skies. The thirty-three gods with Upendra (Vishnu) and Mahendra, and the order of Vaimanikas have attained success by worshipping thee. By offering thee garlands of the celestial Mandaras the best of the Vidyadharas have obtained all
 A form of Yoga
that is said to consist in the mingling of
some of the air supposed to exist in every animal body. These
airs are five: Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, and Vyana.
 The 8 Vasus, the
11 Rudras, the 12 Adityas,
Prajapati, and Vashatkara.
 An order of celestials.
 Celestial flowers of much fragrance.
 The ascetic properties are Anima, Laghima, etc.
 The bow of Vishnu, as that of Siva is called Pinaka.
 The words of the text
are Adhana, Pashubandha, Ishti
Mantra, Yajana and Tapa-kriya.
Vaisampayana said, “Thus, O great king, was the sun that purifier of the world, adored (by Yudhishthira). And pleased with the hymn, the maker of day, self-luminous, and blazing like fire showed himself to the son of Pandu. And Vivaswan said, ’Thou shall obtain all that thou desirest. I shall provide thee with food for five and seven years together. And, O king, accept this copper-vessel which I give unto thee. And, O thou of excellent vows, as long as Panchali will hold this vessel, without partaking of its contents fruits and roots and meat and vegetables cooked in thy kitchen, these four kinds of food shall from this day be inexhaustible. And, on the fourteenth year from this, thou shall regain thy kingdom.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Having said this, the god vanished away. He that, with the desire of obtaining a boon, reciteth this hymn concentrating his mind with ascetic abstraction, obtaineth it from the sun, however difficult of acquisition it may be that he asketh for. And the person, male or female, that reciteth or heareth this hymn day after day, if he or she desireth for a son, obtaineth one, and if riches, obtaineth them, and if learning acquireth
Vaisampayana continued, “Having obtained the boon, the virtuous son of Kunti, rising from the water, took hold of Dhaumya’s feet and then embraced his brother’s. And, O exalted one, wending then with Draupadi to the kitchen, and adored by her duly, the son of Pandu set himself to cook (their day’s) food. And the clean food, however little, that was dressed, furnished with the four tastes, increased and became inexhaustible. And with it Yudhishthira began to feed the regenerate ones. And after the Brahmanas had been fed, and his younger brothers also, Yudhishthira himself ate of the food that remained, and which is called Vighasa. And after Yudhishthira had eaten, the daughter of Prishata took what remained. And after she had taken her meal, the day’s food became exhausted.
“And having thus obtained the boon from the maker of day, the son of Pandu, himself as resplendent as that celestial, began to entertain the Brahmanas agreeably to their wishes. And obedient to their priest, the sons of Pritha, on auspicious lunar days and constellations and conjunctions, performed sacrifices according to the ordinance, the scriptures, and the Mantras. After the sacrifices, the sons of Pandu, blessed by the auspicious rites performed by Dhaumya and accompanied by him, and surrounded also by the Brahmanas set out for the woods of Kamyaka.”
Vaisampayana said,—“After the Pandavas had gone to the forest, Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika, whose knowledge was his eye, became exceedingly sorrowful. And seated at his ease the king addressed these words to the virtuous Vidura of profound intelligence, ’Thy understanding is as clear as that of Bhargava. Thou knowest also all the subtleties of morality, and thou lookest on all the Kauravas with an equal eye. O, tell me what is proper for me and them. O Vidura, things having thus taken their course, what should we do now? How may I secure the goodwill of the citizens so that they may not destroy us to the roots? O, tell us all, since thou art conversant with every excellent expedient.’
 Dhritarashtra being blind
is described as Pragnachakshu,
i.e. having knowledge for his eye. It may also mean. “Of the
 The great preceptor of
the Asuras, viz., Sukra,
possessing the highest intelligence as evidenced by his various
works on all manner of subjects particularly, the Sukra-niti.
“Vidura said, ’The three-fold purposes, O king (viz., profit, pleasure, and salvation), have their foundations in virtue, and the sages say that a kingdom also standeth on virtue as its basis. Therefore, O monarch, according to the best of thy power, cherish thou virtuously thy own sons and those of Pandu. That virtue had been beguiled by wicked souls with Suvala’s son at their head, when thy sons invited the righteous Yudhishthira and defeated him in the match at dice. O king, of this deed of utter iniquity I behold this expiation whereby, O chief of the Kurus, thy son, freed from sin, may win back his position among good men. Let the sons of Pandu, obtain that which was given unto them by thee. For, verily, even this is the highest morality that a king should remain content with his own, and never covet another’s possessions. Thy good name then would not suffer nor would family dissensions ensue, nor unrighteousness be thine. This then is thy prime duty now,—to gratify the Pandavas and disgrace Sakuni. If thou wishest to restore to thy sons the good fortune they have lost, then, O king, do thou speedily adopt this line of conduct. If thou dost not act so, the Kurus will surely meet with destruction, for neither Bhimasena nor Arjuna, if angry, will leave any of their foes unslain. What is there in the world which is unattainable to those who cannot among their warriors Savyasachin skilled in arms; who have the Gandiva, the most powerful of all weapons in the world, for their bow; and who have amongst them the mighty Bhima also as a warrior? Formerly, as soon as thy son was born, I told thee,—Forsake thou this inauspicious child of thine. Herein lieth the good of thy race.—But thou didst not then act accordingly. Nor also, O king, have I pointed out to thee the way of thy welfare. If thou doest as I have counselled, thou shalt not have to repent afterwards. If thy son consent to reign in peace jointly with the sons of Pandu, passing thy days in joy thou shalt not have to repent. Should it be otherwise, abandon thou thy child for thy own happiness. Putting Duryodhana aside, do thou install the son of Pandu in the sovereignty, and let, O king, Ajatasatru, free from passion, rule the earth virtuously. All the kings of the earth, then, like Vaisyas, will, without delay, pay homage unto us. And, O king, let Duryodhana and Sakuni and Karna with alacrity wait upon the Pandavas. And let Dussasana, in open court, ask forgiveness of Bhimasena and of the daughter of Drupada also. And do thou pacify Yudhishthira by placing him on the throne with every mark of respect. Asked by thee, what else can I counsel thee to do? By doing this, O monarch, thou wouldst do what was proper.’
“Dhritarashtra said, ’These words, O Vidura, then thou hast spoken in this assembly, with reference to the Pandavas and myself, are for their good but not for ours. My mind doth not approve them. How hast thou settled all this in thy mind now? When thou hast spoken all this on behalf of the Pandavas, I perceive that thou art not friendly to me. How can I abandon my son for the sake of the sons of Pandu? Doubtless they are my sons, but Duryodhana is sprung from my body. Who then, speaking with impartiality, will ever counsel me to renounce my own body for the sake of others? O Vidura, all that thou sayest is crooked, although I hold thee in high esteem. Stay or go as thou likest. However much may she be humoured, an unchaste will forsaketh her husband.’”
Vaisampayana said, “O king, saying this Dhritarashtra rose suddenly and went into the inner apartments. And Vidura, saying ‘This race is doomed’ went away to where the sons of Pritha were.”
Vaisampayana said, “Desirous of living in the forest, those bulls of the Bharata race, the Pandavas, with their followers, setting out from the banks of the Ganges went to the field of Kurukshetra. And performing their ablutions in the Saraswati, the Drisadwati and the Yamuna, they went from one forest to another, travelling in an westernly direction. And at length they saw before them the woods, Kamyaka, the favourite haunt of Munis, situated by a level and wild plain on the banks of the Saraswati. And in those woods, O Bharata, abounding in birds and deer, those heroes began to dwell, entertained and comforted by the Munis. And Vidura always longing to see the Pandavas, went in a single car to the Kamyaka woods abounding in every good thing. And arriving at Kamyaka on a car drawn by swift steeds, he saw Yudhishthira the just, sitting with Draupadi at a retired spot, surrounded by his brothers and the Brahmanas. And seeing Vidura approach from a distance with swift steps, the virtuous king addressed brother Bhimasena, saying, ’With what message doth Kshatta come to us? Doth he come hither, despatched by Sakuni, to invite us again to a game of dice? Doth the little-minded Sakuni intend to win again our weapons at dice? O Bhimasena, challenged by any one addressing me,—Come, I am unable to stay. And if our possession of the Gandiva becomes doubtful, will not the acquisition of our kingdom also be so.’”
Vaisampayana said, “O king, the Pandavas then rose up and welcomed Vidura. And received by them, that descendant of the Ajamida line (Vidura) sat in their midst and made the usual enquiries. And after Vidura had rested awhile, those bulls among men asked him the reason of his coming. And Vidura began to relate unto them in detail everything connected with the bearing of Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika.
“Vidura said, ’O Ajatasatru, Dhritarashtra called me, his dependant, before him and honouring me duly said, “Things have fared thus. Now, do thou tell me what is good for the Pandavas as well as for me.” I pointed out what was beneficial to both the Kauravas and Dhritarashtra. But what I said was not relished by him, nor could I hit upon any other course. What I advised was, O Pandavas, highly beneficial, but the son of Amvika heeded me not. Even as medicine recommendeth itself not to one that is ill, so my words failed to please the king. And, O thou without a foe, as all unchaste wile in the family of a man of pure descent cannot be brought back to the path of virtue, so I failed to bring Dhritarashtra back. Indeed, as a young damsel doth not like a husband of three score, even so Dhritarashtra did not like my words. Surely, destruction will overtake the Kuru race, surely Dhritarashtra will never acquire good fortune. For, as water dropped on a lotus-leaf doth not remain there, my counsels will fail to produce any effect to Dhritarashtra. The incensed Dhritarashira told me, O Bharata, go thou thither where thou likest. Never more shall I seek thy aid in ruling the earth or my capital,—O best of monarchs, forsaken by king Dhritarashtra, I come to thee for tendering good counsel. What I had said in the open court, I will now repeat unto thee. Listen, and bear my words in mind,—that wise man who bearing all the gross wrong heaped upon him by his enemies, patiently bideth his time, and multiplieth his resources even as men by degrees turn a small fire into a large one, ruleth alone this entire earth. He that (in prosperity) enjoyeth his substance with his adherents findeth in them sharers of his adversity,—this is the best means of securing adherents, and it is said that he that hath adherents, winneth the sovereignty of the world! And, O Pandava, divided thy prosperity with thy adherents, behave truthfully towards them, and converse with them agreeably! Share also your food with them! And never boast thyself in their presence! This behaviour increaseth the prosperity of kings!’
“Yudhishthira said, ’Having recourse to such high intelligence, undisturbed by passion, I will do as thou counsellest! And whatever else thou mayst counsel in respect of time and place, I will carefully follow entirely.’”
Vaisampayana said, “O king, after Vidura had gone to the abode of the Pandavas, Dhritarashtra, O Bharata, of profound wisdom, repented of his action. And thinking of the great intelligence of Vidura in matters connected with both war and peace, and also of the aggrandisement of the Pandavas in the future, Dhritarashtra, pained at the recollection of Vidura, having approached the door of the hall of state fell down senseless in the presence of the monarchs (in waiting). And regaining consciousness, the king rose from the ground and thus addressed Sanjaya standing
Vaisampayana continued, “Hearing these words of the king, Sanjaya expressed his approbation, and saying ‘So be it,’ went in the direction of the Kamyaka woods. And arriving without loss of time at the forest where the sons of Pandu dwelt, he beheld Yudhishthira clad in deer-skin, seated with Vidura, in the midst of Brahmanas by thousands and guarded by his brothers, even like Purandara in the midst of the celestials! And approaching Yudhishthira, Sanjaya worshipped him duly and was received with due respect by Bhima and Arjuna and the twins. And Yudhishthira made the usual enquiries about his welfare and when he had been seated at his ease, he disclosed the reason of his visit, in these words, ’King Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, hath, O Kshatta! remembered thee! Returning unto him without loss of time, do thou revive the king! And, O thou best of men, with the permission of these Kuru princes—these foremost of men—it behoveth thee, at the command of that lion among kings, to return unto him!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by Sanjaya, the intelligent Vidura, ever attached to his relatives, with the permission of Yudhishthira returned to the city named after the elephant. And after he had approached the king, Dhritarashtra of great energy, the son of Amvika, addressed him, saying, ’From my good luck alone, O Vidura, thou, O sinless one, of conversant with morality, hast come here remembering me! And, O thou bull of the Bharata race, in thy absence I was beholding myself, sleepless through the day and the night, as one that hath been lost on earth!’ And the king then took Vidura on his lap and smelt his head, and said, ’Forgive me, O sinless one, the words in which thou wert addressed by me!’ And Vidura said, ’O king, I have forgiven thee. Thou art my superior, worthy of the highest reverence! Here am I, having come back, eagerly wishing to behold thee! All virtuous men, O tiger among men, are (instinctively) partial towards those that are distressed! This, O king, is scarcely the result of deliberation! (My partiality to the Pandavas proceedeth from this cause)! O Bharata, thy sons are as dear to me as the sons of Pandu, but as the latter are now in distress, my heart yearneth after them!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “And addressing each other thus in apologetic speeches, the two illustrious brothers, Vidura and Dhritarashtra, felt themselves greatly happy!”
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing that Vidura had returned, and that the king had consoled him, the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra began to burn in grief. His understanding clouded by ignorance, he summoned the son of Suvala, and Karna and Dussasana, and addressed them saying, ’The learned Vidura, the minister of the wise Dhritarashtra, hath returned! The friend of the sons of Pandu, he is ever engaged in doing what is beneficial to them. So long as this Vidura doth not succeed in inducing the king to bring them back, do ye all think of what may benefit me! If ever I behold the sons of Pritha return to the city, I shall again be emaciated by renouncing food and drink, even though there be no obstacle in my path! And I shall either take poison or hang myself, either enter the pyre or kill myself with my own weapons. But I shall never be able to behold the sons of Pandu in prosperity!’
“Sakuni said, ’O king, O lord of the earth, what folly hath taken possession of thee! The Pandavas have gone to the forest, having given a particular pledge, so that what thou apprehendest can never take place! O bull of the Bharata race, the Pandavas ever abide by the truth. They will never, therefore, accept the words of thy father! If however, accepting the commands of the king, they come back to the capital, violating their vow, even this would be our conduct, viz., assuming, an aspect of neutrality, and in apparent obedience to the will of the monarch, we will closely watch the Pandavas, keeping our counsels!’
“Dussasana said, ’O uncle of great intelligence, it is even as thou sayest! The words of wisdom thou utterest always recommend themselves to me!’ Karna said, ’O Duryodhana, all of us seek to accomplish thy will and, O king, I see that unanimity at present prevaileth among us! The sons of Pandu, with passions under complete control, will never return without passing away the promised period. If, however, they do return from failing sense, do thou defeat them again at dice.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Thus addressed by Karna, king Duryodhana with cheerless heart, averted his face from his counsellors. Marking all this, Karna expanding his beautiful eyes, and vehemently gesticulating in anger, haughtily addressed Duryodhana and Dussasana and Suvala’s son saying, ’Ye princes, know ye my opinion! We are all servants of the king (Duryodhana) waiting upon him with joined palms! We should, therefore, do what is agreeable to him! But we are not always able to seek his welfare with promptness and activity (owing to our dependence on Dhritarashtra)! But let us now, encased in mail and armed with our weapons, mount our cars and go in a body to slay the Pandavas now living in the forest! After the Pandavas have been quieted and after they have gone on the unknown journey, both ourselves and the sons of Dhritarashtra will find peace! As long as they are in distress, as long as they are in sorrow, as long as they are destitute of help, so long are we a match for them! This is my mind!’
“Hearing those words of the charioteer’s son, they repeatedly applauded him, and at last exclaimed, ‘Very well!’ And saying this each of them mounted his car, and sanguine of success, they rushed in a body to slay the sons of Pandu. And knowing by his spiritual vision that they had gone out, the master Krishna-Dwaipayana of pure soul came upon them, and commanded them to desist. And sending them away, the holy one, worshipped by all the worlds, quickly appeared before the king whose intelligence served the purposes of eye-sight, and who was then seated (at his ease). And the holy one addressed the monarch thus.”
“Vyasa said, ’O wise Dhritarashtra, hear what I say! I will tell thee that which is for the great good of all the Kauravas! O thou of mighty arms, it hath not pleased me that the Pandavas have gone to the forest dishonestly defeated (at dice) by Duryodhana and others! O Bharata, on the expiration of the thirteenth year, recollecting all their woes, they may shower death-dealing weapons, even like virulent poison, upon the Kauravas! Why doth thy sinful son of wicked heart, ever inflamed with ire, seek to slay the sons of Pandu for the sake of their kingdom? Let the fool be restrained; let thy son remain quiet! In attempting to slay the Pandavas in exile, he will only lose his own life. Thou art as honest as the wise Vidura, or Bhishma, or ourselves, or Kripa, or Drona. O thou of great wisdom, dissension with one’s own kin are forbidden, sinful and reprehensible! Therefore, O king, it behoveth thee to desist from such acts! And, O Bharata, Duryodhana looketh with such jealousy towards the Pandavas that great harm would be the consequence, if thou didst not interfere. Or let this wicked son of thine, O monarch, along and unaccompanied, himself go to the forest and live with the sons of Pandu. For then, if the Pandavas, from association, feel an attachment for Duryodhana, then, O king of men, good fortune may be thine. (This, however, may not be)! For it hath been heard that one’s congenital nature leaveth him not till death. But what do Bhishma and Drona and Vidura think? What also dost thou think? That which is beneficial should be done while there is time, else thy purposes will be unrealised.’”
“Dhritarashtra said, ’O holy one, I did not like this business of gambling, but, O Muni, I think, I was made to consent to it drawn by fate! Neither Bhishma, nor Drona, nor Vidura, nor Gandhari liked this game at dice. No doubt, it was begot of folly. And, O thou who delightest in the observance of vows, O illustrious one, knowing everything yet influenced by paternal affection, I am unable to cast off my senseless son, Duryodhana!’
“Vyasa said, ’O king, O son of Vichitravirya, what thou sayest is true! We know it well that a son is the best of all things and that there is nothing that is so good as a son. Instructed by the tears of Suravi, Indra came to know that the son surpasseth in worth other valuable possessions. O monarch, I will, in this connection, relate to thee that excellent and best of stories, the conversation between Indra and Suravi. In days of yore, Suravi, the mother of cows was once weeping in the celestial regions. O child, Indra took compassion upon her, and asked her, saying, “O auspicious one! why dost thou weep? Is everything well with the celestials? Hath any misfortune, ever so little, befallen the world of men or serpents?” Suravi replied, “No evil hath befallen thee that I perceive. But I am aggrieved on account of my son, and it is therefore, O Kausika, that I weep! See, O chief of the celestials, yonder cruel husbandman is belabouring my weak son with the wooden stick, and oppressing him with the (weight of the) plough, in consequence of which my child agitated with agony is falling upon the ground and is at the point of death. At sight of this, O lord of the celestials, I am filled with compassion, and my mind is agitated! The one that is the stronger of the pair is bearing his burthen of greater weight (with ease), but, O Vasava, the other is lean, and weak and is a mass of veins and arteries! He beareth his burthen with difficulty! And it is for him that I grieve. See, O Vasava, sore inflicted with the whip, and harassed exceedingly, he is unable to bear his burthen. And it is for him that, moved by grief, I weep in heaviness of heart and these tears of compassion trickle down my eyes!
“’Sakra said, “O fair one, when thousands of thy son are (daily) oppressed, why dost thou grieve for one under infliction?” Suravi replied. “Although I have a thousand offspring, yet my affections flow equally towards all! But, O Sakra, I feel greater compassion for one that is weak and innocent!’
“Vyasa continued, ’Then Indra having heard these words of Suravi, was much surprised, and O thou of the Kuru race, he became convinced that a son is dearer than one’s life! And the illustrious chastiser of Paka thereupon suddenly poured there a thick shower and caused obstruction to the husbandman’s work. And as Suravi said, thy affections, O king, equally flow towards all thy sons. Let them be greater towards those that are weak! And as my son Pandu is to me, so art thou, O son, and so also Vidura of profound wisdom! It is out of affection that I tell you all this! O Bharata, thou art possessed of a hundred and one sons, but Pandu hath only five. And they are in a bad plight and passing their days in sorrow. How may they save their lives, how may they thrive such thoughts regarding the distressed sons of Pritha continually agitate my soul! O king of the earth, if thou desirest all the Kauravas to live, let thy son Duryodhana make peace with the Pandavas!’”
“Dhritarashtra said, ’O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thou sayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thou considerest to be beneficial for the Kurus was pointed out to me, O Muni, by Vidura and Bhishma and Drona. And, if I deserve thy favour, and if thou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked son Duryodhana!’
“Vyasa said, ’O king, after having seen the Pandava brothers, here cometh the holy Rishi Maitreya, with the desire of seeing us. That mighty Rishi, O king, will admonish thy son for the welfare of this race. And, O Kauravya, what he adviseth must be followed undoubtingly, for if what he recommendeth is not done, the sage will curse thy son in anger.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Saying this, Vyasa departed, and Maitreya made his appearance. And the king with his son respectfully received that way-worn chief of Munis, with offerings of the Arghya and other rites. And king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, in words of respect thus addressed the sage, ’O holy one, hath journey from the Kuru-jangala been a pleasant one? Are those heroes, the five Pandavas living happily? Do those bulls of the Kuru race intend to stay out their time? Will the brotherly affection of the Kauravas ever be impaired?’
“Maitreya said, ’Setting out on a pilgrimage to the different shrines, I arrived at Kuru-jangala, and there I unexpectedly saw Yudhishthira the just in the woods of Kamyaka. And, O exalted one, many Munis had come there to behold the high-souled Yudhishthira, dwelling in an ascetic asylum, clad in deer-skin and wearing matted locks. It was there, O king of kings, that I heard of the grave error committed by thy sons and the calamity and terrible danger arisen from dice that had overtaken them. Therefore, it is that I have come to thee, for the good of the Kauravas, since, O exalted one, my affection is great for thee and I am delighted with thee! O king, it is not fit that thy sons should on any account quarrel with one another, thyself and Bhishma living. Thou art, O king, the stake at which bulls are tied (in treading cord), and thou art competent to punish and reward! Why dost thou overlook then this great evil that is about to overtake all? And, O descendant of the Kurus, for those wrongs that have been perpetrated in thy court, which are even like the acts of wretched outcasts, thou art not well-thought amongst the ascetics!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Then turning to the wrathful prince Duryodhana, the illustrious Rishi Maitreya addressed him in these soft words, ’O mighty-armed Duryodhana, O best of all eloquent men, O illustrious one, give heed unto the words I utter for my good! O king, seek not to quarrel with the Pandavas! And, O bull among men, compass thou thy own good as also of the Pandavas, of the Kurus and of the world! All those tigers among men are heroes of high prowess in war, gifted with the
“O king, thus admonished by Maitreya, Duryodhana began to slap his thigh resembling the trunk of the elephant, and smilingly began to scratch the ground with his foot. And the wicked wretch spake not a word, but hung down his head. And, O monarch, beholding Duryodhana thus offer him a slight by scratching the earth silently, Maitreya became angry. And, as if commissioned by fate, Maitreya, the best of Munis, overwhelmed by wrath, set his mind upon cursing Duryodhana! And then, with eyes red in anger, Maitreya, touching water, cursed the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra, saying, ’Since, slighting me thou declinest to act according to my words, thou shalt speedily reap the fruit of this thy insolence! In the great war which shall spring out of the wrongs perpetrated by thee, the mighty Bhima shall smash that thigh of thine with a stroke of his mace!’
“When the Muni had spoken so, king Dhritarashtra began to pacify the sage, in order that what he had said might not happen. But Maitreya said, ’O king, if thy son concludeth peace with the Pandavas, this curse of mine, O child, will not take effect, otherwise it must be as I have said!’”
Vaisampayana said, “Desirous of ascertaining the might of Bhima, that foremost of kings, the father of Duryodhana, then asked Maitreya, saying, ‘How was Kirmira slain by Bhima?’
“Maitreya said, ’I shall not speak again unto thee, O king, for my words are not regarded by thy son. After I have gone away, Vidura will relate everything unto thee!’ And saying this, Maitreya went away to the place whence he had come. And Duryodhana also went out perturbed at the tidings of Kirmira’s death (at the hand of Bhima).”
“Dhritarashtra said, ’O Kshatta, I am desirous to hear of the destruction of Kirmira! Do thou tell me how the encounter took place between the Rakshasa and Bhimasena!’
“Vidura said, ’Listen to the story of that feat of Bhimasena of superhuman achievements! I have often heard of it in course of my conversation with the Pandavas (while I was with them). O foremost of kings, defeated at dice the Pandavas departed from hence and travelling for three days and nights they at length reached those woods that go by the name of Kamyaka. O king, just after the dreadful hour of midnight when all nature is asleep, when man-eating Rakshasas of terrible deeds begin to wander, the ascetics and the cowherds and other rangers of the forest used to shun the woods of Kamyaka and fly to a distance from fear of cannibals. And, O Bharata, as the Pandavas were at this hour entering those woods a fearful Rakshasa of flaming eyes appeared before them with a lighted brand, obstructing their path. And with outstretched arms and terrible face, he stood obstructing the way on which those perpetuators of the Kuru race were proceeding. With eight teeth standing out, with eyes of coppery hue, and with the hair of his head blazing and standing erect, the fiend looked like a mass of clouds reflecting the rays of the sun or mingled with lightning flashes and graced with flocks of cranes underneath on their wings. And uttering frightful yells and roaring like a mass of clouds charged with rain, the fiend began to spread the illusion proper to his species. Hearing that terrible roar, birds along with other creatures that live on land or in water, began to drop down in all directions, uttering cries of fear. And in consequence of the deer and the leopards and the buffaloes and the bears flying about in all directions, it seemed as if the forest itself was in motion. And swayed by the wind raised by the sighs of the Rakshasa, creepers growing at a great distance seemed to embrace the trees with their arms of coppery leaves. And at that moment, a violent wind began to blow, and the sky became darkened with the dust that covered it. And as grief is the greatest enemy of the object of the five senses, even so appeared before the Pandavas that unknown foe of theirs. And beholding the Pandavas from a distance clad in black deer-skins, the Rakshasa obstructed their passage through the forest even like the Mainaka mountain. And at the sight of him never seen before the lotus-eyed Krishna, agitated with fear, closed her eyes. And she whose braids had been dishevelled by the hand of Dussasana, stationed in the midst of the five Pandavas, looked like a stream chafing amid five hills. And seeing her overwhelmed with fear the five Pandavas supported her as the five senses influenced by desire adhere to the pleasures relating to their objects. And Dhaumya of great (ascetic) energy, in the presence of the sons of Pandu, destroyed the fearful illusion that had been spread by the Rakshasa, by applying various mantras, calculated to destroy the Rakshasa. And beholding his illusion dispelled, the mighty Rakshasa of crooked ways, capable of assuming
Vaisampayana continued, “O Bharata, hearing these words of the wretch, Yudhishthira announced his own name and lineage, saying, ’I am king Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu, of whom thou mayst have heard. Deprived of my kingdom, I have with my brothers Bhimasena and Arjuna and the others, in course of my wanderings, come into this terrible forest which is thy dominion, desirous of passing my period of exile here!’
“Vidura continued, ’Kirmira said unto Yudhishthira, “By good luck it is that fate hath accomplished today my long-accomplished desire! With weapons upraised have I been continually ranging the entire earth with the object of slaying Bhima. But Bhima I had found not. By good luck it is that slayer of my brother, whom I had been seeking so long, hath come before me! It was he who in the disguise of a Brahmana slew my dear brother Vaka in the Vetrakiya forest by virtue of his science. He hath truly no strength of arms! It is also this one of wicked soul who formerly slew my dear friend Hidimva, living in this forest and ravished his sister! And that fool hath now come into this deep forest of mine, when the night is half spent, even at the time when we wander about! Today I will wreak my long-cherished vengeance upon him, and I will today gratify (the manes of) Vaka with his blood in plenty! By slaying this enemy of the Rakshasas, I shall today be freed from the debt I owe to my friend and my brother, and thereby attain supreme happiness! If Bhimasena was let free formerly by Vaka, today, I will devour him in thy sight, O Yudhishthira! And even as Agastya ate up and digested the mighty Asura (Vatapi) I will eat up and digest this Bhima!"’
“Vidura continued, ’Thus addressed by the Rakshasa, the virtuous Yudhishthira, steadfast in his pledges, said, “It can never be so,”—and in anger rebuked the Rakshasa. The mighty-armed Bhima then tore up in haste a tree of the length of ten Vyasas and stripped it of its leaves. And in the space of a moment the ever-victorious Arjuna stringed his bow Gandiva possessing the force of the thunderbolt. And, O Bharata, making Jishnu desist, Bhima approached that Rakshasa still roaring like the clouds and said unto him, “Stay! Stay!” And thus addressing the cannibal, and tightening the cloth around his waist, and rubbing his palms, and biting his nether lip with his teeth, and armed with the tree, the powerful Bhima rushed
“Vidura said, ’It was thus, O lord of men, that Kirmira was slain in combat by Bhima, in obedience, O Kaurava, to the commands of Yudhishthira the just! And having rid the forest of its pest, the victorious Yudhishthira the just, began to live in that dwelling of theirs, with Draupadi. And those bulls of the Bharata race comforting Draupadi began to cheerfully extol Bhima with glad hearts. And after the Rakshasa had been slain, borne down by the might of Bhima’s arms, those heroes entered into the peaceful forest freed from its annoyance. Passing through the great forest I saw lying the body of the wicked and fearless Rakshasa slain by Bhima’s might. And, O Bharata, there I heard of this achievement of Bhima from those Brahmanas who have assembled round the Pandavas.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Hearing the account of the slaughter in combat of Kirmira, that foremost of Rakshasas, the king sighed in sorrow and became absorbed in thought.”
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing that the Pandavas had been banished, the Bhojas, the Vrishnis, and the Andhakas went to those heroes residing in affliction in the great forest. And the consanguinous relatives of Panchala, and Dhrishtaketu the king of Chedi, and those celebrated and powerful brothers the Kaikeyas, their hearts fired with wrath, went to the forest to see the sons of Pritha. And reproaching the sons of Dhritarashtra, they said, ‘What should we do?’ And those bulls of the Kshatriya race, with Vasudeva at their head, sat themselves down round Yudhishthira the just. And respectfully saluting that foremost of the Kurus, Kesava mournfully said, ’The earth shall drink the blood of Duryodhana and Karna, of Dussasana and the wicked Sakuni! Slaying these in battle and defeating their followers along with their royal allies, will we all install Yudhishthira the just on the throne! The wicked deserve to be slain! Verily, this is eternal morality.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “And when on account of the wrongs of Pritha’s sons, Janardana had thus got into a passion, and seemed bent upon consuming ail created things, Arjuna exerted himself to pacify him. And beholding Kesava angry, Phalguna began to recite the feats achieved in his former lives by that soul of all things, himself immeasurable, the eternal one, of infinite energy, the lord of Prajapati himself, the supreme ruler of the worlds, Vishnu of profound wisdom!’
“Arjuna said, ’In days of old, thou, O Krishna, hadst wandered on the Gandhamadana mountains for ten thousand years as a Muni having his home where evening fell! Living upon water alone, thou hadst, in days of old, O Krishna, also dwelt for full eleven thousand years by the lake of Pushkara! And, O slayer of Madhu, with arms upraised and standing on one leg, thou hadst passed a hundred years on the high hills of Vadari, living all the while upon air! And leaving aside thy upper garment, with body emaciated and looking like a bundle of veins, thou hadst lived on the banks of the Saraswati, employed in thy sacrifice extending for twelve years! And, O Krishna of mighty energy, in observance of thy vow thou hadst stood on one leg for the length of a thousand years of the celestials, on the plains of Prabhasa which it behoveth the virtuous to visit! Vyasa hath told me that thou art the cause of the creation and its course! And, O Kesava, the lord of Kshetra, thou art the mover of all minds, and the beginning and end of all things! All asceticism resteth in thee, and thou too art the embodiment of all sacrifices, and the eternal one! Slaying the Asura Naraka, offspring of the Earth-first begotten, thou hadst obtained his ear-rings, and performed, O Krishna, the first horse-sacrifice (offering up that Asura as the sacrificial horse)! And, O bull of all the worlds, having performed that feat, thou hast become victorious over all! Thou hadst slain all the Daityas and Danavas mustered in battle, and giving the lord of Sachi (Indra) the sovereignty of the universe, thou hast, O Kesava of mighty arms, taken thy birth among men! O slayer of all foes, having floated on the primordial waters, thou subsequently becamest Hari, and Brahma and Surya and Dharma, and Dhatri and Yama and Anala and Vasu, and Vaisravana, and Rudra, and Kala and the firmament the earth, and the ten directions! Thyself increate, thou art the lord of the mobile and the immobile universe, the Creator of all, O thou foremost of all existences! And, O slayer of Madhu, O thou of abundant energy, in the forest of Chitraratha thou didst, O Krishna, gratify with thy sacrifice the chief of all the gods, the highest of the high! O Janardana, at each sacrifice thou didst offer, according to shares, gold by hundreds and thousands. And, O son of the Yadava race, becoming the son of Aditi, O exalted one of the supreme attributes, thou hast been known as the younger brother of Indra! And, O thou chastiser of foes, even while a child thou didst, O Krishna, in consequence of thy energy, fill by three steps only the heaven, the firmament, and the earth! And, O thou soul of all covering the heaven and the firmament (while thou wert thus transformed), thou didst dwell in the body of the sun and afflict him with thy own splendour! And, O exalted one, in thy incarnations on those thousand occasions, thou
 Also called Vadarika,
a hermitage on the Himalaya near
the sources of the Ganges.
 Nilakantha explains kshetra as including Mahabhuta, consciousness, intellect, the unmanifest (primordial elements), the ten senses, the five objects of the senses, viz., earth, water, &c., desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, the combinations of elements, and chaitanya.
 Hari here means
the developed seed that is to expand into
the vast whole of the universe.
Vaisampayana continued, “Having addressed Krishna thus, the illustrious Pandava, who was the soul of Krishna, became dumb, when Janardana (in reply addressed that son of Pritha) saying, ’Thou art mine and I am thine, while all that is mine is thine also! He that hateth thee hateth me as well, and he that followeth thee followeth me! O thou irrepressible one, thou art Nara and I am Narayana or Hari! We are the Rishis Nara and Narayana born in the world of men for a special purpose. O Partha, thou art from me and I am from thee! O bull of the Bharata race, no one can understand the difference that is between us!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “When the illustrious Kesava had said so in the midst of that assembly of brave kings, all excited with anger, Panchali surrounded by Dhrishtadyumna and her other heroic brothers, approached him of eyes like lotus leaves seated with his cousins, and, desirous of protection, addressed in angry accents that refuge of all, saying, ’Asita and Devala have said that in the matter of the creation of all things, thou hast been indicated (by the sages) as the only Prajapati and the Creator of all the worlds! And, O irrepressible one, Jamadagnya sayeth that thou art Vishnu, and, O slayer of Madhu, that thou art (embodiment of) Sacrifice, Sacrificer and he for whom the sacrifice is performed! And, O best of male beings, the Rishis indicate thee as Forgiveness and Truth! Kasyapa hath said that thou art Sacrifice sprung from Truth! O exalted one, Narada calleth thee the god of the Sadhyas, and of the Sivas, as alone the Creator and the Lord of all things. And, O tiger among men, thou repeatedly sportest with the gods including, Brahma and Sankara and Sakra even as children sporting with their toys! And, O exalted one, the firmament is covered by thy head, and the earth by thy feet; these worlds are as thy womb and thou art the Eternal one! With Rishis sanctified by Vedic lore and asceticism, and whose souls have been purified by penance, and who are contented with soul-vision, thou art the best of all objects! And, O chief of all male beings, thou art the refuge of all royal sages devoted to virtuous acts, never turning their backs on the field of the battle, and possessed of every accomplishment! Thou art the Lord of all, thou art Omnipresent, thou art the Soul of all things, and thou art the active power pervading everything! The rulers of the several worlds, those worlds themselves, the stellar conjunctions, the ten points of the horizon, the firmament, the moon, and the sun, are all established in thee! And, O mighty-armed one, the morality of (earthly) creatures, the immortality of the universe, are established in thee! Thou art the Supreme lord of all creatures, celestial or human! Therefore it is, O slayer of Madhu, that impelled by the affection thou bearest me that I will relate to thee my griefs! O Krishna, how could one like me, the wife of Pritha’s sons,
“’Thus, O Krishna, afflicted with numerous griefs, and in great distress, am I living, with Dhaumya at our head, but deprived of the company of the adorable Kunti! Why do these that are gifted with strength and possessed of the prowess of the lion, sit indifferently, beholding me thus afflicted by enemies so despicable? Suffering such wrongs at the hands of wicked and evil-doing foes of small strength, am I to burn in grief so long? Born I was in a great race, coming into the world in an extraordinary way! I am also the beloved wife of the Pandavas, and the daughter-in-law of the illustrious Pandu! The foremost of women and devoted to my husbands, even I, O Krishna, was seized by hair, O slayer of Madhu, in the sight of the Pandavas, each of whom is like an Indra himself!’
“Saying this the mild-speeched Krishna hid her face with her soft hands like the buds of lotus, and began to weep. And the tears of Panchali begot of grief washed her deep, plump and graceful breasts crowned with auspicious marks. And wiping her eyes and sighing frequently she said these words angrily and in a choked voice, ’Husbands, or sons, or friends, or brothers, or father, have I none! Nor have I thee, O thou slayer of Madhu, for ye all, beholding me treated so cruelly by inferior foes, sit still unmoved! My grief at Karna’s ridicule is incapable of being assuaged! On these grounds I deserve to be ever protected by thee, O Kesava, viz., our relationship, thy respect (for me), our friendship, and thy lordship (over me).’”
Vaisampayana continued, “In that assembly of heroes Vasudeva then spake unto the weeping Draupadi as follows, ’O fair lady, the wives of those with whom thou art angry, shall weep even like thee, beholding their husbands dead on the ground, weltering in blood and their bodies covered with the arrows of Vivatsu! Weep not, lady, for I will exert to the utmost of my powers for the sons of Pandu! I promise thou shalt (once more) be the queen of kings! The heavens might fall, or the Himavat might split, the earth might be rent, or the waters of the ocean might dry up, but my words shall never be futile!’ Hearing those words of Achyuta in reply, Draupadi looked obliquely at her third husband (Arjuna). And, O mighty king, Arjuna said unto Draupadi, ’O thou of beautiful coppery eyes, grieve not! O illustrious one, it shall be even as the slayer of Madhu hath said! It can never be otherwise, O beautiful one!’
“Dhrishtadyumna said, ’I will slay Drona, Sikhandin will slay the grandfather. And Bhimasena will slay Duryodhana, and Dhananjaya will slay Karna. And, O sister, assisted by Rama and Krishna, we are invincible in battle by even the slayer himself of Vritra—what are the sons of Dhritarashtra?’”
Vaisampayana continued, “After these words had been spoken, all the heroes there turned their faces towards Vasudeva, who then in their midst began to speak as follows.”
“Vasudeva said, ’O lord of earth, if I had been present at Dwaraka, then, O king, this evil would not have befallen thee! And, O irrepressible one, coming unto the gambling-match, even if uninvited by the son of Amvika (Dhritarashtra), or Duryodhana, or by the other Kauravas, I would have prevented the game from taking place, by showing its many evils, summoning to my aid Bhishma and Drona and Kripa, and Vahlika! O exalted one, for thy sake I would have told the son of Vichitravirya—O foremost of monarchs, let thy sons have nothing to do with dice!—I would have shown the many evils (of dice) through which thou hast fallen into such distress and the son of Virasena was formerly deprived of his kingdom! O king, unthought of evils, befall a man from dice! I would have described how a man once engaged in the game continueth to play (from desire of victory). Women, dice, hunting and drinking to which people become addicted in consequence of temptation, have been regarded as the four evils that deprive a man of prosperity. And those versed in the Sastras are of opinion that evils attend upon all these. They also that are addicted to dice know all its evils. O thou of mighty arms, appearing before the son of Amvika, I would have pointed out that through dice men in a day lose their possessions, and fall into distress, and are deprived of their untasted wealth, and exchange harsh words! O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I would have pointed out these and other attendant evils! If he had
“Yudhishthira said, ’O Krishna, why wert thou absent (from the Anartta country)? And, O descendant of the Vrishni race, while thou wert away, where didst thou dwell? And what didst thou do while out of thy kingdom?’
“Krishna said, ’O bull of the Bharata race, I had gone for the purpose of destroying the (arranging) city Salwa. And, O foremost of the Kauravas, listen to the reasons I had for so doing! The heroic son of Damaghosha, the well-known king Sisupala of mighty arms and great energy, was slain by me, O best of Bharatas, at thy Rajasuya sacrifice, because that wicked one could not from anger bear to see the first worship offered to me! Hearing that he had been slain, Salwa, burning with fierce anger, came to Dwaraka, while, O Bharata, it was empty, myself being away, residing with you here. And having arrived there on a car made of precious metals and hence called the Souva, he had an encounter with the youthful princes of the Vrishni race—those bulls of that line—and fought with them mercilessly. And slaughtering many youthful Vrishnis of heroic valour, the wicked one devastated all the gardens of the city. And, O thou of mighty arms, he said, “Where is that wretch of the Vrishni race, Vasudeva, the evil-souled son of Vasudeva? I will humble in battle the pride of that person so eager for fight! Tell me truly, O Anarttas! I will go there where he is. And after killing that slayer of Kansa and Kesi, will I return! By my weapon I swear that I will not return without slaying him!” And exclaiming repeatedly—Where is he? Where is he? the lord of Saubha rusheth to this place and that, desirous of encountering me in battle. And Salwa also said, “Impelled by wrath for the destruction of Sisupala I shall today send to the mansion of Yama that treacherous miscreant of mean mind.” And, O king, he further said, “That Janardana shall I slay, who, wretch that he is, hath
“Yudhishthira said, ’O illustrious Vasudeva of mighty arms, tell thou in detail of the death of the lord of Saubha. My curiosity hath not been appeased by the narration.’
“Vasudeva said, ’O mighty-armed king, hearing that the son of Srutaslavas (Sisupala) had been slain by me, Salwa, O best of the Bharata race, came to the city of Dwaravati! And, O son of Pandu, the wicked king, stationing his forces in array, besieged that city around and above. And stationing himself in the upper regions, the king began his fight with the city. And that encounter commenced with a thick shower of weapons from all sides. And, O bull of the Bharata race, the city at that time was well-fortified on all sides, according to the science (of fortification), with pennons, and arches, and combatants, and walls and turrets, and engines, and miners, and streets barricaded with spiked wood-works and towers and edifices with gate-ways well-filled with provisions, and engines for hurling burning brands and fires, and vessels, of deer-skins (for carrying water), and trumpets, tabors, and drums, lances and forks, and Sataghnis, and plough-shares, rockets, balls of stone and battle-axes and other weapons and shield embossed with iron, and engines for hurling balls and bullets and hot liquids! And the city was also well-defended by numerous cars, and, O tiger among Kurus, by Gada and Shamva and Uddhava and others, and by warriors of prowess tried in battle, all well-born and capable of encountering any foe! And these
“Vasudeva continued, ’O king of kings, Salwa, the lord of Saubha, came towards our city with an immense force consisting of infantry, cavalry and elephants! And the army headed by king Salwa, consisting of four kinds of forces, occupied a level ground commanding a copious water-supply. And forsaking cemeteries and temples dedicated to the gods, and sacred trees, and grounds covered by ant-hills, that host occupied every other place. And the roads (leading to the city) were blocked up by the divisions of the army, and the secret entrances also were all blocked up by the enemy’s camp. And, O Kauravya, like unto the lord of birds (Garuda), the ruler of Saubha rushed towards Dwaraka, bringing with him, O bull among men, his host equipped with all kinds of arms, skilled in all weapons, consisting of a dense display of cars and elephants and cavalry abounding in banners, and well-paid and well-fed foot-soldiers possessed of great strength and bearing every mark of heroism and furnished with wonderful chariots and bows. And beholding the army of Salwa, the youthful princes of the Vrishni race resolved to encounter
“Vasudeva continued, ’O bull of the Bharata race, having spoken thus unto the Yadavas, the son of Rukmini (Pradyumna) ascended his golden car. And the car he rode was drawn by excellent steeds in mail. And over it stood a standard bearing the figure of a Makara with gaping mouth and fierce as Yama. And with his steeds, more flying than running on the ground, he rushed against the foe. And the hero equipped with quiver and sword, with fingers cased in leather, twanged his bow possessed of the splendour of the lightning, with great strength, and transferring it from hand to hand, as if in contempt of the enemy, spread confusion among the Danavas and other warriors of the city of Saubha. And as hot in contempt of the foe, and continuously slew the Danavas in battle, no one could mark the slightest interval between his successive shafts. And the colour of his face changed not, and his limbs trembled not. And people only heard his loud leonine roars indicative of wonderful valour. And the aquatic monster with mouth wide open, that devourer of all fishes, placed on golden flag-staff of that best of cars, struck terror into the hearts of Salwa’s warriors. And, O king, Pradyumna, the mower of foes rushed with speed against Salwa himself so desirous of an encounter! And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, braved by the heroic Pradyumna in that mighty battle, the angry Salwa could ill bear the challenge! And that conqueror of hostile cities, Salwa, maddened by anger, descended from his beautiful car of unchecked speed, resolved to encounter Pradyumna. And the people beheld the fight between Salwa and the foremost of Vrishni heroes, which was even like unto the encounter between Vasava with Vali. And, O hero, mounting on his beautiful car decked with gold and furnished with flags and flag-staffs and quivers, the illustrious and mighty Salwa began to discharge his arrows at Pradyumna! Pradyumna also by the energy of his arms, overwhelmed Salwa in the combat by a thick shower of arrows. The king of Saubha, however, thus attacked in battle by Pradyumna, endured him not, but discharged at my son arrows that were like blazing fire. But the mighty Pradyumna parried off that arrowy shower. Beholding this, Salwa rained on my son other weapons of blazing splendour. Then, O foremost of monarchs, pierced by the shafts of Salwa, the son of Rukmini discharged without loss of time an arrow that was capable of entering the vitals of
“Vasudeva continued, ’O king, afflicted with the arrows of Salwa, when Pradyumna became senseless the Vrishnis who had come to the fight were all disheartened and filled with grief! And the combatants of the Vrishni and Andhaka races burst into exclamations of Oh! and Alas! while great joy was felt by the enemy and beholding him thus deprived of sense, his trained charioteer, the son of Daruka, soon carried him off the field by the help of his steeds. The car had not gone far when that best of warriors regained his senses, and taking up his bow addressed his charioteer, saying, “O son of the Suta tribe, what hast thou done? Why dost thou go leaving the field of battle? This is not the custom of the Vrishni heroes in battle! O son of a Suta, hast thou been bewildered at the sight of a Salwa in that fierce encounter? Or hast thou been disheartened, beholding the fight? O! tell me truly thy mind!” The charioteer answered, “O son of Janardana, I have not been confounded, nor hath fear taken possession of me. On the other hand, O son of Kesava, the task, I ween, of vanquishing Salwa is difficult for thee! Therefore, O hero, I am slowly retiring from the field. This wretch is stronger than thou art! It behoveth a charioteer to protect the warrior on the car, however, when he is deprived of his senses! O thou gifted with length of days, thou shouldst always be protected by me, even as it behoveth thee to protect me! Thinking that the warrior on the car should always be protected (by his charioteer), I am carrying thee away! Further, O thou of mighty arms, thou art alone, while the Danavas are many. Thinking, O son of Rukmini, that thou art not equal to them in the encounter, I am going away!"’
“Vasudeva continued, ’When the charioteer had spoken thus, he, O Kauravya, who hath the makara for his mark replied unto him, saying, “Turn the car! O son of Daruka, never do so again; never, O Suta, turn thou from the fight, while I am alive! He is no son of the Vrishni race who forsaketh the field or slayeth the foe fallen at his feet and crying I am thine! or killeth a woman, a boy, or an old man, or a warrior in distress, deprived of his car or with his weapons broken! Thou art born in the race of charioteers and trained to thy craft! And, O son of Daruka, thou art acquainted with the customs of the Vrishnis in battle! Versed as thou art with all the customs of the Vrishnis in battle, do thou, O Suta, never again fly from the field as thou hast done! What will the irrepressible Madhava, the elder brother of Gada, say to me when he heareth that I have left the field of battle in bewilderment or that I have been struck on the back—a run-away from the combat! What will the elder brother of Kesava, the mighty-armed Baladeva, clad in blue and inebriate with wine, say, when he returneth? What also, O Suta, will that lion among men, the grand-son of Sini (Satyaki), that great warrior, say on hearing that I have forsaken the fight? And, O charioteer, what will the ever-victorious Shamva, the irrepressible Charudeshna. and Gada, and Sarana, and Akrura also of mighty arms, say unto me! What also will the wives of the Vrishni heroes when they meet together, say of me who had hitherto been considered as brave and well-conducted, respectable and possessed of manly pride? They will even say This Pradyumna is a coward who cometh here, leaving the battle! Fie on him! They will never say, Well done! Ridicule, with exclamation of Fie, is to me or a person like me, O Suta, more than death! Therefore, do thou never again leave the field of battle! Reposing the charge on me, Hari the slayer of Madhu, hath gone to the sacrifice of the Bharata lion (Yudhishthira)! Therefore, I cannot bear to be quiet now! O Suta, when the brave Kritavarman was sallying out to encounter Salwa, I prevented him, saying I will resist Salwa. Do thou stay! For honouring me the son of Hridika desisted! Having left the field of battle, what shall I say unto that mighty warrior when I meet him? When that irrepressible one of mighty arms—the holder of the conch, the discus, and the mace—returneth, what shall I say unto him of eyes like lotus leaves? Satyaki, and Valadeva, and others of the Vrishni and Andhaka races always boast of me! What shall I say unto them? O Suta, having left the field of battle and with wounds of arrows on my back while being carried away by thee, I shall, by no means, be able to live! Therefore, O son of Daruka, turn that car speedily, and never do so again even in times of greatest danger! I do not, O Suta, think life worth much, having fled from the field like a coward, and my back pierced, with the arrows (of the enemy)! Hast thou ever seen me, O son of Suta, fly in fear from the field of battle like a coward? O son of Daruka, it behoved thee not to forsake the battle, while my desire of fight was not yet gratified! Do thou, therefore, go back to the field."’”
“Vasudeva continued, ’Thus addressed, the son of Suta race replied in haste unto Pradyumna, that foremost of all endued with strength, in these sweet words, “O son of Rukmini, I fear not to guide the horses on the field of battle, and I am acquainted also with the customs of the Vrishnis in war! It is not otherwise in the least! But, O thou blest with length of days, those that guide the car are taught that the warrior on the car is, by all means, to be protected by his charioteer! Thou wert also much afflicted! Thou wert much wounded by the arrows shot by Salwa. Thou wert also deprived of thy senses, O hero! Therefore is it that I retired from the field. But, O chief of the Satwatas, now that thou hast regained thy senses without much ado, do thou, O son of Kesava, witness my skill in guiding the horses! I have been begotten by Daruka, and I have been duly trained! I will now penetrate into the celebrated array of Salwa without fear!"’
“Vasudeva continued, ’Saying this, O hero, the charioteer, pulling the reins, began to lead the horses with speed towards the field of battle. And, O king, struck with the whip and pulled by the reins those excellent steeds seemed to be flying in the air, performing various beautiful motions, now circular, now similar, now dissimilar, now to the right, now to the left. And, O king, those steeds understanding as it were the intention of Daruka’s son endued with such lightness of hand, burned with energy, and seemed to go without touching the ground with their feet! That bull among men wheeled round Salwa’s host so easily that they who witnessed it wondered exceedingly. And the lord of Saubha, unable to bear that manoeuvre of Pradyumna, instantly sent three shafts at the charioteer of his antagonist! The charioteer, however, without taking any note of the force of those arrows, continued to go along the right. Then the lord of Saubha, O hero, again discharged at my son by Rukmini, a shower of various kinds of weapons! But that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Rukmini, showing with a smile his lightness of hand, cut all those weapons off as they reached him. Finding his arrows cut by Pradyumna, the lord of Saubha, having recourse to the dreadful illusion natural to Asuras began to pour a thick shower of arrows. But cutting into pieces those powerful Daitya weapons shot at him in mid-career by means of his Brahma weapon, Pradyumna discharged winged shafts of other kings. And these delighting in blood, warding off the shafts of Daitya, pierced his head, bosom and face. And at those wounds Salwa fell down senseless. And on the mean-minded Salwa falling down, afflicted with Pradyumna’s arrows, the son of Rukmini aimed another arrow at him, capable of destroying every foe. And beholding that arrow worshipped by all the Dasarhas, and flaming like fire and fatal as a venomous snake, fixed on the bow-string, the firmament was filled with exclamations
“Vasudeva said, ’When Salwa had left the city of the Anarttas, I returned to it, O king, on the completion of thy great Rajasuya sacrifice! On my arrival I found Dwaraka shorn of its splendour, and, O great monarch, there were not sounds of Vedic recitation or sacrificial offering. And the excellent damsels were all destitute of ornaments, and the gardens were devoid of beauty. And alarmed by the aspect, I asked the son of Hridika saying, “Why is it that the men and women of the city of the Vrishnis are so woe-begone, O tiger among men?” O thou best of kings thus asked the son of Hridika (Kritavarman) relate to me in detail the invasion of the city by Salwa, and his subsequent departure from it. And, O thou foremost of Bharatas, hearing all, even then I made up my mind to slay Salwa. And encouraging the citizens, O best of Bharatas, I cheerfully addressed king Ahuka, and Anakdundhuvi, and the chief heroes of the Vrishni race, saying, “Do ye, O bulls among the Yadavas, stay in the city, taking every care, and know that I go to slay Salwa! I return not to the city of Dwaravati without slaying him. I will again come to ye having compassed the destruction of Salwa together with his car of precious metals. Do ye strike up the sharp and middle and flat notes of the Dundhuvi so dreadful to foes!” And O thou bull of the Bharata race, thus adequately encouraged by me, those heroes cheerfully said unto me, “Go and slay the enemies!” And thus receiving the benedictions of those warriors with glad hearts, and causing the Brahmanas to utter auspicious words and bowing down to the best of the regenerate ones, and to Siva also, I set out on my car unto which were yoked the horses Saivya, and Sugriva, filling all sides with the clatter (of my wheels) and blowing that best of conchs, the Panchajanya! And, O king, O tiger among men, accompanied by my redoubted and victorious army consisting of the four
“Vasudeva said, ’O thou tiger among men, my great enemy king Salwa, thus encountered by me in battle, again ascended the sky. And O mighty monarch, inspired with the desire of victory, that wicked one hurled at me Sataghnis, and mighty maces, and flaming lances, and stout clubs, and as the weapons came along the sky, I speedily resisted them with my swift arrows, and cut them in two or three pieces before they came at me. And there was a great noise in the welkins. And Salwa covered Daruka, and my steeds, and my car also with hundreds of straight shafts. Then, O hero, Daruka, evidently about to faint, said unto me, “Afflicted with the shafts of Salwa I stay in the field, because it is my duty to do so. But I am incapable of doing so (any longer). My body hath become weak!” Hearing these piteous words of my charioteer, I looked at him, and found the driver wounded with arrows. Nor was there a spot on his breasts or the crown of his head, or body or his arms which was not, O thou foremost of sons of Pandu, covered with shafts! And blood flowed profusely from his wounds inflicted by arrows, and he looked like unto a mountain of red chalk after a heavy shower. And, O thou of mighty arms, seeing the charioteer with the reins in his hands thus pierced and enfeebled by the shafts of Salwa in the field of battle, I cheered him up!
“’And, O Bharata, about this time, a certain
person, having his home in Dwaraka quickly coming
to my car, addressed me like a friend, delivering
to me, O hero, a message from Ahuka! He seemed
to be one of Ahuka’s followers. And sadly
and in a voice choked in sorrow, know, O Yudhishthira,
he said words—“O warrior, Ahuka, the
lord of Dwaraka, hath said these words unto thee!
O Kesava, hear what thy father’s friend sayeth:
O son of the Vrishni race, O thou irrepressible
one, in thy absence today Salwa, coming to Dwaraka,
hath by main force killed Vasudeva! Therefore,
no need of battle any more. Cease, O Janardana!
Do thou defend Dwaraka! This is thy principal
duty!”—Hearing these words of
his, my heart became heavy, and I could not ascertain
what I should do and what I should not. And,
O hero, hearing of that great misfortune, I mentally
censured Satyaki, and Baladeva, and also that
mighty Pradyumna. Having reposed on them the
duty of protecting Dwaraka and Vasudeva, I had gone,
O son of the Kuru race, to effect the destruction
of Salwa’s city. And in a sorrowful heart,
I asked myself,—Doth that destroyer of
foes, the mighty-armed Baladeva, live, and Satyaki,
and the son of Rukmini and Charudeshna possessed of
prowess, and Shamva and others? For, O thou tiger
among men, these living, even the bearer himself of
the thunderbolt could by no means destroy Suta’s
son (Vasudeva)! And, thought I, It is plain
that Vasudeva is dead and equally plain that the others
with Baladeva at their head have been deprived of
life—This was my certain conclusion.
And, O mighty king, thinking of the destruction of
those all, I was overwhelmed with grief! And
it was in this state of mind that I encountered Salwa
afresh. And now I saw, O great monarch, Vasudeva
himself falling from the car of precious metals!
And, O warrior I swooned away, and, O king of men,
my sire seemed like unto Yayati after the loss of
his merit, falling towards the earth from heaven!
And like unto a luminary whose merit hath been lost
saw my father falling, his head-gear foul and flowing
loosely, and his hair and dress disordered. And
then the bow Sharanga dropped from my hand,
and, O son of Kunti I swooned away! I sat down
on the side of the car. And, O thou descendant
of the Bharata race, seeing me deprived of consciousness
on the car, and as if dead, my entire host exclaimed
Oh! and Alas! And my prone father
with out-stretched arms and lower limbs, appeared
like a dropping bird. And him thus falling, O
thou of mighty arms, O hero, the hostile warriors bearing
in their hands lances and axes struck grievously!
And (beholding this) my heart trembled! and soon regaining
my consciousness, O warrior, I could not see in that
mighty contest either the car of costly metals, or
the enemy Salwa, or my old father! Then I concluded
in my mind that it was certainly illusion. And
recovering my senses, I again began to discharge arrows
“Vasudeva continued, ’Then O thou foremost of the Bharata race, taking up my beautiful bow, I began to cut off with my arrows the heads of the enemies of the celestials, from off that car of costly metals! And I began to discharge from the Sharanga many well-looking arrows of the forms of snakes, capable of going at a great height and possessing intense energy. And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I could not then see the car of costly metals, for it
Vaisampayana continued, “Having addressed the Kaurava thus, that foremost of male persons, of mighty arms, the slayer of Madhu, possessed of every grace, saluting the Pandavas, prepared for departure. And the mighty-armed hero reverentially saluted Yudhishthira the just, and the king in return and Bhima also smelt the crown of his head. And he was embraced by Arjuna, and the twins saluted him with reverence. And he was duly honoured by Dhaumya, and worshipped with tears by Draupadi. And causing Subhadra and Abhimanyu to ascend his golden car, Krishna mounted it himself, worshipped by the Pandavas. And consoling Yudhishthira, Krishna set out for Dwaraka on his car resplendent as the sun and unto which were yoked the horses Saivya and Sugriva. And after he of the Dasharha race had departed, Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Prishata, also set out for his own city, taking with him the sons of Draupadi. And the king of Chedi, Dhrishtaketu also, taking his sister with him set out for his beautiful city of Suktimati, after bidding farewell to the Pandavas. And, O Bharata, the Kaikeyas also, with the permission of Kunti’s son possessed of immeasurable energy, having reverentially saluted all the Pandavas, went away. But Brahmanas and the Vaisyas and the dwellers of Yudhishthira’s kingdom though repeatedly requested to go, did not leave the Pandavas. O foremost of kings, O bull of the Bharata race, the multitude that surrounded those high-souled ones in the forest of Kamyaka looked extraordinary. And Yudhishthira, honouring those high-minded Brahmanas, in due time ordered his men, saying ’Make ready the car.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “After the chief of the Dasharhas had departed, the heroic Yudhishthira, and Bhima, and Arjuna, and the twins, each looking like unto Shiva, and Krishna, and their priest, ascending costly cars unto which were yoked excellent steeds, together went into the forest. And at time of going they distributed Nishkas of gold and clothes and kine unto Brahmanas versed in Siksha and Akshara and mantras. And twenty attendants followed them equipped with bows, and bowstrings, and blazing weapons, and shafts and arrows and engines of destruction. And taking the princess’s clothes and the ornaments, and the nurses and the maid-servants, Indrasena speedily followed the princes on a car. And then approaching the best of Kurus, the high-minded citizens walked round him. And the principal Brahmanas of Kurujangala cheerfully saluted him. And together with his brothers, Yudhishthira the just, on his part saluted them cheerfully. And the illustrious king stopped there a little, beholding the concourse of the inhabitants of Kurujangala. And the illustrious bull among the Kurus felt for them as a father feeleth for his sons, and they too felt for the Kuru chief even as sons feel for their father! And that mighty concourse, approaching
Vaisampayana said, “After they had departed, Yudhishthira the virtuous son of Kunti, unwavering in his promises, addressed all his brothers, saying, ’We shall have to dwell in the solitary forest for these twelve years. Search ye, therefore, in this mighty forest for some spot abounding in birds and deer and flowers and fruits, beautiful to behold, and auspicious, and inhabited by virtuous persons and where we may dwell pleasantly for all these years!’ Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, Dhananjaya replied unto the son of Dharma, after reverencing the illustrious king as if he were his spiritual preceptor. And Arjuna said, ’Thou hast respectfully waited upon all the great and old Rishis. There is nothing unknown to thee in the world of men. And O bull of the Bharata race, thou hast always waited with reverence upon Brahmanas including Dwaipayana and others, and Narada of great ascetic merit, who with senses under control, ever goeth to the gates of all the world from the world of the gods unto that of Brahma, including that of the Gandharvas and Apsaras! And thou knowest, without doubt, the opinions of the Brahmanas, and, O king, their prowess also! And
Vaisampayana continued, “Then the virtuous son of Pandu, accompanied by numerous Brahmanas, all went to the sacred lake called Dwaitavana. And Yudhishthira was surrounded by numerous Brahmanas some of whom sacrificed with fire and some without it and some of whom, devoted to the study of the Vedas, lived upon alms or were of the class called Vanaprasthas. And the king was also surrounded by hundreds of Mahatmas crowned with ascetic success and of rigid vows. And those bulls of the Bharata race, the sons of Pandu setting out with those numerous Brahmanas, entered the sacred and delightful woods of Dwaita. And the king saw that mighty forest covered on the close of summer with Salas, and palms, and mangoes, and Madhukas, and Nipas and Kadamvas and Sarjjas and Arjunas, and Karnikars, many of them covered with flowers. And flocks of peacocks and Datyuhas and Chakoras and Varhins and Kokilas, seated on the tops of the tallest trees of that forest were pouring forth their mellifluous notes. And the king also saw in that forest mighty herds of gigantic elephants huge as the hills, with temporal juice trickling down in the season of rut, accompanied by herds of she-elephants. And approaching the beautiful Bhogavati (Saraswati), the king saw many ascetics crowned with success in the habitations in that forest, and virtuous men of sanctified souls clad in barks of trees and bearing matted locks on their heads. And descending from their cars, the king that foremost of virtuous men with his brothers and followers entered that forest like Indra of immeasurable energy entering heaven. And crowds of Charanas and Siddhas, desirous of beholding the monarch devoted to truth, came towards him. And the dwellers of that forest stood surrounding that lion among kings possessed of great intelligence. And saluting all the Siddhas, and saluted by them in return as a king or a god should be, that foremost of virtuous men entered the forest with joined hands accompanied by all those foremost of regenerate ones. And the illustrious and virtuous king, saluted in return by those virtuous ascetics that had approached him, sat down in their midst at the foot of a mighty tree decked with flowers, like his father (Pandu) in days before. And those chiefs of the Bharata race viz., Bhima and Dhananjaya and the twins and Krishna and their followers, all fatigued, leaving their vehicles, sat themselves down around that best of kings. And that mighty tree bent down with the weight of creepers, with those five illustrious bowmen who had come there for rest sitting under it, looked like a mountain with (five) huge elephants resting on its side.”
Vaisampayana said, “Having fallen into distress, those princes thus obtained at last a pleasant habitation in that forest. And there in those woods abounding with Sala trees and washed by the Saraswati, they who were like so many Indras, began to sport themselves. And the illustrious king, that bull of the Kuru race, set himself to please all the Yatis and Munis and the principal Brahmanas in that forest, by offerings of excellent fruits and roots. And their priest, Dhaumya endued with great energy, like unto a father to those princes, began to perform the sacrificial rites of Ishti and Paitreya for the Pandavas residing in that great forest. And there came, as a guest, unto the abode of the accomplished Pandavas living in the wood after loss of their kingdom, the old Rishi Markandeya, possessed of intense and abundant energy. And that bull of the Kuru race, the high-souled Yudhishthira, possessed of unrivalled strength and prowess, paid his homage unto that great Muni, reverenced by celestials and Rishis of men, and possessed of the splendour of blazing fire. And that illustrious and all-knowing Muni, of unrivalled energy, beholding Draupadi and Yudhishthira and Bhima and Arjuna, in the midst of the ascetics, smiled, recollecting Rama in his mind. And Yudhishthira the just, apparently grieved at this, asked him, saying, ’All these ascetics are sorry for seeing me here. Why is it that thou alone smilest, as if in glee, in the presence of these?’ Markandeya replied, ’O child, I too am sorry and do not smile in glee! Nor doth pride born of joy possess my heart! Beholding to-day the calamity, I recollect Rama, the son of Dasaratha, devoted to truth! Even that Rama, accompanied by Lakshman, dwelt in the woods at the command of his father. O son of Pritha, I beheld him in days of old ranging with his bow on the top of the Rishyamuka hills! The illustrious Rama was like unto Indra, the lord of Yama himself, and the slayer of Namuchi! Yet that sinless one had to dwell in the forest at the command of his father, accepting it as his duty. The illustrious Rama was equal unto Sakra in prowess, and invincible in battle. And yet he had to range the forest renouncing all pleasures! Therefore should no one act unrighteously, saying,—I am mighty! Kings Nabhaga and Bhagiratha and others, having subjugated by truth this world bounded by the seas, (finally) obtained, O child, all the region hereafter. Therefore, should no one act unrighteously, saying,—I am mighty! And, O exalted of men, the virtuous and truthful king of Kasi and Karusha was called a mad dog for having renounced his territories and riches! Therefore, should no one act unrighteously, saying,—I am mighty! O best of men, O son of Pritha, the seven righteous Rishis, for having observed the ordinance prescribed by the Creator himself in the Vedas, blaze
Vaisampayana continued, “Having spoken these words unto Yudhishthira (seated) in the midst of the ascetics with friends, the great Rishi having also saluted Dhaumya and all the Pandavas set out in a northerly direction!”
Vaisampayana said, “While the illustrious son of Pandu continued to dwell in the Dwaita woods, that great forest became filled with Brahmanas. And the lake within that forest, ever resounding with Vedic recitations, became sacred like a second region of Brahma. And the sounds of the Yajus, the Riks, the Samas, and other words uttered by the Brahmanas, were exceedingly delightful to hear. And the Vedic recitations of the Brahmanas mingling with the twang of bows of the sons of Pritha, produced a union of the Brahmana and Kshatriya customs that was highly beautiful. And one evening the Rishi Vaka of the Dalvya family addressed Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti seated in the midst of the Rishis, saying, ’Behold, O chief of the Kurus, O son of Pritha, the homa time is come of these Brahmanas devoted to ascetic austerities, the time when the (sacred) fires have all been lit up! These all, of rigid vows, protected by thee, are performing the rites of religion in this sacred region! The descendants of Bhrigu and Angiras, along with those of Vasishta and Kasyapa, the illustrious sons of Agastya, the offspring of Atri all of excellent vows, in fact, all the foremost Brahmanas of the whole, are now united with thee! Listen, O son of the Kuru race born of Kunti, thyself with thy brothers, to the words I speak to thee! As are aided by the wind consumeth the forest, so Brahma energy mingling with Kshatriya energy, and Kshatriya might mingling with Brahma power, might, when they gathered force, consume all enemies! O child, he should never desire to be without Brahmanas who wisheth to subdue this and the other world for length of days! Indeed, a king slayeth his enemies having obtained a Brahmana conversant, with religion and worldly affairs
Vaisampayana continued, “Then all those Brahmanas who were with Yudhishthira worshipped Vaka of the Dalvya race, and having heard him praise Yudhishthira became highly pleased. And Dwaipayana and Narada and Jamadagnya and Prithusravas; and Indradyumna and Bhalaki and Kritachetas and Sahasrapat; and Karnasravas and Munja and Lavanaswa and Kasyapa; and Harita and Sthulakarana and Agnivesya and Saunaka; and Kritavak and Suvakana, Vrihadaswa and Vibhavasu; and Urdharetas and Vrishamitra and Suhotra and Hotravahana; these and many other Brahmanas of rigid vows then adored Yudhishthira like Rishis adoring Purandara in heaven!”
Vaisampayana said, “Exiled to the woods the sons of Pritha with Krishna seated in the evening, conversed with one another afflicted with sorrow and grief. And the handsome and well informed Krishna dear unto her lords and devoted to them, thus spake unto Yudhishthira, ’The sinful, cruel, and wicked-minded son of Dhritarashtra certainly feeleth no sorrow for us, when, O king, that evil-hearted wretch having sent thee with myself into the woods dressed in deer-skin feeleth no regret! The heart of that wretch of evil deeds must surely be made of steel when he could at that time address thee, his virtuous eldest brother, in words so harsh! Having brought thee who deservest to enjoy every happiness and never such woe, into
“Draupadi continued, ’On this subject, the ancient story of the conversation between Prahlada and Vali, the son of Virochana, is quoted as an example. One day Vali asked his grand-father Prahlada, the chief of the Asuras and the Danavas, possessed of great wisdom and well-versed in the mysteries of the science of duty, saying, “O sire, is forgiveness meritorious or might and energy such? I am puzzled as regards this; O sire, enlighten me who ask thee this! O thou conversant with all duties, tell me truly which of these is meritorious? I will strictly obey whatever thy command may be!” Thus asked (by Vali), his wise grandfather, conversant with every conclusion, replied upon the whole subject unto his grand-son who had sought at his hands the resolution of his doubts. And Prahlada said, “Know, O child, these two truths with certainty, viz.,
“’"Listen now, O son of Virochana, to the demerits of those that are never forgiving! The man of wrath who, surrounded by darkness, always inflicteth, by help of his own energy, various kinds of punishment on persons whether they deserve them or not, is necessarily separated from his friends in consequence of that energy of his. Such a man is hated by both relatives and strangers. Such a man, because he insulteth others, suffereth loss of wealth and reapeth disregard and sorrow and hatred and confusion and enemies. The man of wrath, in consequence of his ire, inflicteth punishments on men and obtaineth (in return) harsh words. He is divested of his prosperity soon and even of life, not to say, of friends and relatives. He that putteth forth his might both upon his benefactor and his foe, is an object of alarm to the world, like a snake that hath taken shelter in a house, to the inmates thereof. What prosperity can he have who is an object of alarm to the world? People always do him an injury when they find a hole. Therefore, should men never exhibit might in excess nor forgiveness on all occasions. One should put forth his might and show his forgiveness on proper occasions. He that becometh forgiving at the proper time and harsh and mighty also at the proper time, obtaineth happiness both in this world and the other.
“’"I shall now indicate the occasions in detail of forgiveness, as laid down by the learned, and which should ever be observed by all. Hearken unto me as I speak! He that hath done thee a service, even if he is guilty of a grave wrong unto thee, recollecting his former service, shouldst thou forgive that offender. Those also that have become offenders from ignorance and folly should be forgiven for learning and wisdom are not always easily attainable by man. They that having offended thee knowingly, plead ignorance should be punished, even if their offences be trivial. Such crooked men should never be pardoned. The first offence of every creature should be forgiven. The second offence, however, should be punished, even if it be trivial. If, however, a person committeth an offence unwillingly, it hath been said that examining his plea well by a judicious enquiry, he should be pardoned. Humility may vanquish might, humility may vanquish weakness. There is nothing that humility may not accomplish. Therefore, humility is truly fiercer (than it seemeth)! One should act with reference to place and time, taking note of his own might or weakness. Nothing can succeed that hath been undertaken without reference to place and time. Therefore, do thou ever wait for place and time! Sometimes offenders should be forgiven from fear of the people. These have been declared to be times of forgiveness. And it hath been said that on occasions besides these, might should be put forth against transgressors."’
“Draupadi continued, ’I, therefore, regard, O king, that the time hath come for thee to put forth thy might! Unto those Kurus the covetous sons of Dhritarashtra who injure us always, the present is not the time for forgiveness! It behoveth thee to put forth thy might. The humble and forgiving person is disregarded; while those that are fierce persecute others. He, indeed, is a king who hath recourse to both, each according to its time!’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’Anger is the slayer of men and is again their prosperor. Know this, O thou possessed of great wisdom, that anger is the root of all prosperity and all adversity. O thou beautiful one, he that suppresseth his anger earneth prosperity. That man, again, who always giveth way to anger, reapeth adversity from his fierce anger. It is seen in this world that anger is the cause of destruction of every creature. How then can one like me indulge his anger which is so destructive of the world? The angry man commiteth sin. The angry man killeth even his preceptors. The angry man insulteth even his superiors in harsh words. The man that is angry faileth to distinguish between what should be said and what should not. There is no act that an angry man may not do, no word that an angry man may not utter. From anger a man may slay one that deserveth not to be slain, and may worship one that deserveth to be slain. The angry
“Draupadi said, ’I bow down unto Dhatri and Vidhatri who have thus clouded thy sense! Regarding the burden (thou art to bear) thou thinkest differently from the ways of thy fathers and grand-fathers! Influenced by acts men are placed in different situations of life. Acts, therefore, produce consequences that are inevitable; emancipation is desired from mere folly. It seemeth that man can never attain prosperity in this world by virtue, gentleness, forgiveness, straight-forwardness and fear of censure! If this were not so, O Bharata, this insufferable calamity would never have overtaken thee who art so undeserving of it, and these thy brothers of great energy! Neither in those days of prosperity nor in these days of thy adversity, thou, O Bharata, hath ever known anything so dear to thee as virtue, which thou hast even regarded as dearer to thee than life! That thy kingdom is for virtue alone, that thy life also is for virtue alone, is known to Brahmanas and thy superiors and even the celestials! I think thou canst abandon Bhimasena and Arjuna and these twin sons of Madri along with myself but thou canst not abandon virtue! I have heard that the king protecteth virtue; and virtue, protected by him, protecteth him (in return)! I see, however, that virtue protecteth thee not! Like the shadow pursuing a man, thy heart, O tiger among men, with singleness of purpose,
“Yudhishthira said, ’Thy speech, O Yajnaseni, is delightful, smooth and full of excellent phrases. We have listened to it (carefully). Thou speakest, however, the language of atheism. O princess, I never act, solicitous of the fruits of my actions. I give away, because it is my duty to give; I sacrifice because it is my duty to sacrifice! O Krishna, I accomplish to the best of my power whatever a person living in domesticity should do, regardless of the fact whether those acts have fruits or not. O thou of fair hips, I act virtuously, not from the
“Draupadi said, ’I do not ever disregard or slander religion, O son of Pritha! Why should I disregard God, the lord of all creatures? Afflicted with woe, know me, O Bharata, to be only raving I will once more indulge in lamentations; listen to me with attention. O persecutor of all enemies, every conscious creature should certainly act in this world. It is only the immobile, and not other creatures, that may live without acting. The calf, immediately after its birth, sucketh the mothers’s teat. Persons feel pain in consequence of incantations performed with their statues. It seemeth, therefore, O Yudhishthira, that creatures derive the character of their lives from their acts of former lives. Amongst mobile creatures man differeth in this respect that he aspireth, O bull of the Bharata race, to affect his course of life in this and the other world by means of his acts. Impelled by the inspiration of a former life, all creatures visibly (reap) in this world the fruits of their acts. Indeed, all creatures live according to the inspiration of a former life, even the Creator and the Ordainer of the universe, like a crane that liveth on the water (untaught by any one.) If a creature acteth not, its course of life is impossible. In the case of a creature, therefore, there must be action and not inaction. Thou also shouldest act, and not incur censure by abandoning action. Cover thyself up, as with an armour, with action. There may or may not be even one in a thousand who truly knoweth the utility of acts or work. One must act for protecting as also increasing his wealth; for if without seeking to earn, one continueth to only spend, his wealth, even if it were a hoard huge as Himavat, would soon be exhausted. All the creatures in the world would have been exterminated, if there were no action. If also acts bore no fruits, creatures would never have multiplied. It is even seen that creatures sometimes perform acts that have no fruits, for without acts the course of life itself would be impossible. Those persons in the world who believe in destiny, and those again who believe in chance, are both the worst among men. Those only that believe in the efficacy of acts are laudable. He that lieth at ease, without activity, believing in destiny alone, is soon destroyed like an unburnt earthen pot in water. So also he that believeth in chance, i.e. sitteth inactive though capable of activity liveth not long, for his life is one of weakness and helplessness. If any person accidentally acquireth any wealth, it is said he deriveth it from chance, for no one’s effort hath brought about the result. And, O son of Pritha, whatever of good fortune a person obtaineth in consequence of religious rites, that is called providential. The fruit, however that a person obtaineth by acting himself, and which is the direct result of those acts of his, is regarded as proof of personal ability. And, O best of men, know
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing these words of Yajnaseni, Bhimasena, sighing in wrath, approached the king and addressed him, saying, ’Walk, O monarch, in the customary path trodden by good men, (before thee) in respect of kingdoms. What do we gain by living in the asylum of ascetics, thus deprived of virtue, pleasure, and profit? It is not by virtue, nor by honesty, nor by might, but by unfair dice, that our kingdom hath been snatched by Duryodhana. Like a weak offal-eating jackal snatching the prey from mighty lions, he hath snatched away our kingdom. Why, O monarch, in obedience to the trite merit of sticking to a promise, dost thou suffer such distress, abandoning that wealth which is the source of both virtue and enjoyments? It was for thy carelessness, O king, that our kingdom protected by the wielder of the Gandiva and therefore, incapable of being wrested by Indra himself, was snatched from us in our very sight. It was for thee, O monarch, that, ourselves living, our prosperity was snatched away from us like a fruit from one unable to use his arms, or like kine from one incapable of using his legs. Thou art faithful in the acquisition of virtue. It was to please thee, O Bharata, that we have suffered ourselves to be overwhelmed with such dire calamity. O bull of the Bharata race, it was because we were subject to thy control that we are thus tearing the hearts of our friends and gratifying our foes. That we did not, in obedience to thee, even then slay the sons of Dhritarashtra, is an act of folly on our part that grieveth me sorely. This thy abode, O king, in the woods, like that of any wild animal, is what a man of weakness alone would submit to. Surely, no man of might would ever lead such a life. This thy course of life is approved neither by Krishna, nor Vibhatsu, nor by Abhimanyu, nor by the Srinjayas,
“’Thus, O monarch, one should regard virtue, wealth and pleasure one after another. One should not devote one self to virtue alone, nor regard wealth as the highest object of one’s wishes, nor pleasure, but should ever pursue all three. The scriptures ordain that one should seek virtue in the morning, wealth at noon, and pleasure in the evening. The scriptures also ordain that one should seek pleasure in the first portion of life, wealth in the second, and virtue in the last. And, O thou foremost of speakers, they that are wise and fully conversant with proper division of time, pursue all three, virtue, wealth, and pleasure, dividing their time duly. O son of the Kuru race, whether independence of these (three), or their possession is the better for those that desire happiness, should be settled by thee after careful thought. And thou shouldst then, O king, unhesitatingly act either for acquiring them, or abandoning them all. For he who liveth wavering between the two doubtingly, leadeth a wretched life. It is well known that thy behaviour is ever regulated by virtue. Knowing this thy friends counsel thee to act. Gift, sacrifice, respect for the wise, study of the Vedas, and honesty, these, O king, constitute the highest virtue and are efficacious both here and hereafter. These virtues, however, cannot be attained by one that hath no wealth, even if, O tiger among men, he may have infinite other accomplishments. The whole universe, O king, dependeth upon virtue. There is nothing higher than virtue. And virtue, O king, is attainable by one that hath plenty of wealth. Wealth cannot be earned by leading a mendicant life, nor by a life of feebleness. Wealth, however, can be earned by intelligence directed by virtue. In thy case, O king, begging, which is successful
Vaisampayana said, “Thus addressed by Bhimasena, the high-souled king Ajatasatru firmly devoted to truth, mustering his patience, after a few moments said these words, ’No doubt, O Bharata, all this is true. I cannot reproach thee for thy torturing me thus by piercing me with thy arrowy words. From my folly alone hath this calamity come against you. I sought to cast the dice desiring to snatch from Dhritarashtra’s son his kingdom with the sovereignty. It was therefore that, that cunning gambler—Suvala’s son—played against me on behalf of Suyodhana. Sakuni, a native of the hilly country, is exceedingly artful. Casting the dice in the presence of the assembly, unacquainted as I am with artifices of any kind, he vanquished me artfully. It is, therefore, O Bhimasena, that we have been overwhelmed with this calamity. Beholding the dice favourable to the wishes of Sakuni in odds and evens, I could have controlled my mind. Anger, however, driveth off a person’s patience. O child, the mind cannot be kept under control when it is influenced by hauteur, vanity, or pride. I do not reproach thee, O Bhimasena, for the words thou usest. I only regard that what hath befallen us was pre-ordained. When king Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra, coveting our kingdom, plunged us into misery and even slavery, then, O Bhima, it was Draupadi that rescued us. When summoned again to the assembly for playing once more, thou knowest as well as Arjuna what Dhritarashtra’s son told me, in the presence of all the Bharatas, regarding the stake for which we were to play. His words were, O prince Ajatsatru, (if vanquished), thou shalt have with all thy brothers, to dwell, to the knowledge of all men, for twelve years in the forest of thy choice, passing the thirteenth year in secrecy. If during the latter period, the spies of the Bharatas, hearing of thee, succeed in discovering thee, thou shalt have again to live in the forest for the same period, passing once more the last year in secrecy. Reflecting upon this, pledge thyself to it. As regards myself, I promise truly in this assembly of the Kurus, that if thou canst pass this time confounding my spies and undiscovered by them, then, O Bharata, this kingdom of the five rivers is once more thine. We also,
“Bhima said, ’O king, unsubstantial as thou art like froth, unstable like a fruit (falling when ripe), dependent on time, and mortal, having entered into an agreement in respect of time, which is infinite and immeasurable, quick like a shaft or flowing like a stream, and carrying everything before it like death itself, how canst regard it as available by thee? How can he, O son of Kunti, wait whose life is shortened every moment, even like a quantity of collyrium that is lessened each time a grain is taken up by the needle? He only whose life is unlimited or who knoweth with certitude what the period
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing those words of Bhima, Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti—tiger among men and slayer of all foes—began to sigh heavily, and reflect in silence. And he thought within himself, ’I have heard recited the duties of kings, also all truths about the duties of the different orders. He is said to observe those duties truly who keepeth them before his eyes, so as to regulate his conduct both in the present and the future. Knowing as I do the true course of virtue, which, however is so very difficult of being known, how can I forcibly grind virtue down like grinding the mountains of Meru?’ Having reflected so for a moment, and settled what he should do, he replied unto Bhima as follows without allowing him another word:
“’O thou of mighty arms, it is even so as thou hast said. But, O thou foremost of speakers, listen now to another word I say. Whatever sinful deeds, O Bhima, one seeketh to achieve, depending on his courage alone, become always a source of pain. But, O thou of mighty arms, whatever is begun with deliberation, with well-directed prowess, with all appliances, and much previous thought, is seen to succeed. The gods themselves favour such designs. Hear
Vaisampayana continued, “Hearing these words of Yudhishthira, the impetuous Bhima became alarmed, and forbore from speaking anything. And while the sons of Pandu were thus conversing with each other, there came to that spot the great ascetic Vyasa, the son of Satyavati. And as he came, the sons of Pandu worshipped him duly. Then that foremost of all speakers, addressing Yudhishthira, said, ’O, Yudhishthira, O thou of mighty arms, knowing by spiritual insight what is passing in thy heart, I have come to thee, O thou bull among men! The fear that is in thy heart, arising from Bhishma, and Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona’s son, and prince Duryodhana, and Dussasana, I will dispel, O slayer of all foes, by means of an act enjoined by the ordinance. Hearing it from me, accomplish it thou with patience, and having accomplished it, O king, quell this fever of thine soon.’
“That foremost of speakers then, the son of Parasara, taking Yudhishthira to a corner, began to address him in words of deep import, saying, ’O best of the Bharatas, the time is come for thy prosperity, when, indeed Dhananjaya—that son of Pritha—will slay all thy foes in battle. Uttered by me and like unto success personified, accept from me this knowledge called Pratismriti that I impart to thee, knowing thou art capable of receiving it. Receiving it (from thee), Arjuna will be able to accomplish his desire. And let Arjuna, O son of Pandu, go unto Mahendra and Rudra, and Varuna, and Kuvera, and Yama, for receiving weapons from them. He is competent to behold the gods for his asceticism and prowess. He is even a Rishi of great energy, the friend of Narayana; ancient, eternal a god himself, invincible, ever successful, and knowing no deterioration. Of mighty arms, he will achieve mighty deeds, having obtained weapons from Indra, and Rudra, and the lokapalas, O son of Kunti, think also of going from this to some other forest that may, O king, be fit for thy abode. To reside in one place for any length of time is scarcely pleasant. In thy case, it might also be productive of anxiety to the ascetics. And as thou maintainest numerous Brahmanas versed in the Vedas and the several branches thereof, continued residence here might exhaust the deer of this forest, and be destructive of the creepers and plants.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Having addressed him thus, that illustrious and exalted ascetic Vyasa, of great wisdom, acquired with the mysteries of the world, then imparted unto the willing Yudhishthira the just, who had meanwhile purified himself, that foremost of sciences. And bidding farewell unto the son of Kunti, Vyasa disappeared then and there. The virtuous and intelligent Yudhishthira, however, having obtained that knowledge carefully retained it in his mind and always recited it on proper occasions. Glad of the advice given him by Vyasa, the son of Kunti then, leaving the wood Dwaitavana went to the forest of Kamyaka on the banks of the Saraswati. And, O king, numerous Brahmanas of ascetic merit and versed in the science of orthoepy and orthography, followed him like the Rishis following the chief of the celestials. Arrived at Kamyaka, those illustrious bulls amongst the Bharata took up their residence there along with their friends and attendants. And possessed of energy, those heroes, O king, lived there for some time, devoted to the exercise of the bow and hearing all the while the chanting of the Vedas. And they went about those woods every day in search of deer, armed with pure arrows. And they duly performed all the rites in honour of the Pitris, the celestials and the Brahmanas.”
Vaisampayana said, “After some time, Yudhishthira the just, remembering the command of the Muni (Vyasa) and calling unto himself that bull among men—Arjuna—possessed of great wisdom, addressed him in private. Taking hold of Arjuna’s hands, with a smiling face and in gentle accents, that chastiser of foes—the virtuous Yudhishthira—apparently after reflecting for a moment, spake these words in private unto Dhananjaya, ’O Bharata, the whole science of arms dwelleth in Bhishma, and Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona’s son. They fully know all sorts of Brahma and celestial and human and Vayavya weapons, together with the modes of using and warding them off. All of them are conciliated and honoured and gratified by Dhritarashtra’s son who behaveth unto them as one should behave unto his preceptor. Towards all his warriors Dhritarashtra’s son behaveth with great affection; and all the chiefs honoured and gratified by him, seek his good in return. Thus honoured by him, they will not fail to put forth their might. The whole earth, besides, is now under Duryodhana’s sway, with all the villages and towns, O son of Pritha, and all the seas and woods and mines! Thou alone art our sole refuge. On thee resteth a great burden. I shall, therefore, O chastiser of all foes, tell thee what thou art to do now. I have obtained a science from Krishna Dwaipayana. Used by thee, that science will expose the whole universe to thee. O child, attentively receive thou that science from me, and in due time (by its aid) attain thou the grace of the celestials. And, O bull of the Bharata race, devote thyself to fierce asceticism. Armed with the bow and sword, and cased in mail, betake thyself to austerities and good vows, and go thou northwards, O child, without giving way to anybody. O Dhananjaya, all celestial weapons are with Indra. The celestials, from fear of Vritra, imparted at the time all their might to Sakra. Gathered together in one place, thou wilt obtain all weapons. Go thou unto Sakra, he will give thee all his weapons. Taking the bow set thou out this very day in order to behold Purandara.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Having said this, the exalted Yudhishthira the just, imparted that science unto Arjuna. And the elder brother having communicated with due rites the Knowledge unto his heroic brother, with speech and body and mind under perfect control, commanded him to depart. And at the command of Yudhishthira, the strong-armed Arjuna, taking up the Gandiva as also his inexhaustible quivers, and accoutred in mail and gauntlets and finger-protectors made of the skin of the guana, and having poured oblations into the fire and made the Brahmanas to utter benedictions after gifts, set out (from Kamyaka) with the objects of beholding Indra. And armed with the bow, the hero, at the time of setting out heaved a sigh and cast a look upwards for achieving the death of Dhritarashtra’s sons. And beholding Kunti’s
Vaisampayana continued, “Krishna, the daughter of Yajnasena, having uttered these benedictions, ceased. The strong-armed son of Pandu then, having walked round his brothers and round Dhaumya also, and taking up his handsome bow, set out. And all creatures began to leave the way that Arjuna of great energy and prowess, urged by the desire of beholding Indra, took. And that slayer of foes passed over many mountains inhabited by ascetics, and then reached the sacred Himavat, the resort of the celestials. And the high-souled one reached the sacred mountain in one day, for like the winds he was gifted with the speed of the mind, in consequence of his ascetic austerities. And having crossed the Himavat, as also the Gandhamadana,
Janamejaya said, “O illustrious one, I desire to hear in detail the history of the acquisition of weapons by Arjuna of spotless deeds. O tell me how that tiger among men, Dhananjaya, of mighty arms and possessed of great energy, entered that solitary forest without fear. And, O thou foremost of those acquainted with the Veda, what also did Arjuna do while dwelling there? How also were the illustrious Sthanu and the chief of the celestials gratified by him? O thou best of regenerate ones, I desire to hear all this under thy favour. Thou art omniscient; thou knowest all about the gods and all about men. O Brahmana, the battle that took place of old between Arjuna—that foremost of smiters never defeated in battle—and Bhava was highly extraordinary and without parallel. It maketh one’s hair stand on end to hear of it. Even the hearts of those lions among men—the brave sons of Pritha—trembled in consequence of wonder and joy and a sense of their own inferiority. O tell me in full what else Arjuna did, I do not see even the most trivial thing to Jishnu that is censurable. Therefore, recite to me in full the history of that hero.”
Vaisampayana said, “O tiger among Kurus, I shall recite to thee that narration, excellent and extensive and unrivalled, in connection with the illustrious hero. O sinless one, hear in detail the particulars about Arjuna’s meeting with the three-eyed god of gods, and his contact with the illustrious god’s person!
“At Yudhishthira’s command, Dhananjaya of immeasurable prowess set out (from Kamyaka) to obtain a sight of Sakra, the chief of the celestials and of Sankara, the god of gods. And the strong-armed Arjuna of great might set out armed with his celestial bow and a sword with golden hilt, for the success of the object he had in view, northwards, towards the summit of the Himavat. And, O king, that first of all warriors in the three worlds, the son of Indra, with a calm mind, and firmly adhering to his purpose, then devoted himself, without the loss of any time, to ascetic austerities. And he entered, all alone, that terrible forest abounding with thorny plants and trees and flowers and fruits of various kinds, and inhabited by winged creatures of various species, and swarming with animals of diverse kinds, and resorted to by Siddhas and Charanas. And when the son of Kunti entered that forest destitute of human beings, sounds of conchs and drums began to be heard in the heavens. And a thick shower of flowers fell upon the earth, and the clouds spreading over the firmament caused a thick shade. Passing over those difficult and woody regions at the foot of the great mountains, Arjuna soon reached the breast of the Himavat; and staying there for sometime began to shine in his brilliancy. And he beheld there numerous trees with expanding verdure, resounding with the melodious notes of winged warblers.
Vaisampayana continued, “The truth-speaking Rishis, having heard these words of Mahadeva, became delighted, and returned to their respective abodes.”
Vaisampayana said, “After all those illustrious ascetics had gone away, that wielder of the Pinaka and cleanser of all sins—the illustrious Hara—assuming the form of a Kirata resplendent as a golden tree, and with a huge and stalwart form like a second Meru, and taking up a hand some bow and a number of arrows resembling snakes of virulent poison, and looking like an embodiment of fire, came quickly down on the breast of Himavat.
Vaisampayana continued, “Phalguna then beheld him—Mahadeva—that god of blazing splendour—that wielder of the Pinaka—that one who had his abode on the mountains (of Kailasa)—accompanied by Uma. Bending down on his knee and bowing with his head, that conqueror of hostile cities—the son of Pritha—worshipped Hara and inclined him to grace. And Arjuna said, ’O Kapardin, O chief of all gods, O destroyer of the eyes of Bhaga, O god of gods, O Mahadeva, O thou of blue throat, O thou of matted locks, I know thee as the Cause of all causes. O thou of three eyes, O lord of all! Thou art the refuge of all the gods! This universe hath sprung from thee. Thou art incapable of being vanquished by the three worlds of the celestials, the Asuras, and men. Thou art Siva in the form of Vishnu, and Vishnu in the form of Siva. Thou destroyedest of old the great sacrifice of Daksha. O Hari, O Rudra, I bow to thee. Thou hast an eye on thy forehead. O Sarva, O thou that rainest objects of desire, O bearer of the trident, O wielder of the Pinaka, O Surya, O thou of pure body, O Creator of all, I bow to thee. O lord of all created things, I worship thee to obtain thy grace. Thou art the lord of the Ganas, the source of universal blessing, the Cause of the causes of the universe. Thou art beyond the foremost of male beings, thou art the highest, thou art the subtlest, O Hara! O illustrious Sankara, it behoveth thee to pardon my fault. It was even to obtain a sight of thyself that I came to this great mountain, which is dear to thee and which is the excellent abode of ascetics. Thou art worshipped of all worlds. O lord, I worship thee to obtain thy grace. Let not this rashness of mine be regarded as a fault—this combat in which I was engaged with thee from ignorance. O Sankara, I seek thy protection. Pardon me all I have done.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Endued with great might, the god whose sign was the bull, taking into his the handsome hands of Arjuna, smilingly replied unto him, saying, ‘I have pardoned thee.’ And the illustrious Hara, cheerfully clasping Arjuna with his arms, once more consoling Arjuna said as follows.”
“Mahadeva said, ’Thou wert in thy former life Nara, the friend of Narayana. In Vadari wert thou engaged in fierce ascetic austerities for several thousands of years. In thee as well as in Vishnu—that first of male beings—dwelleth great might. Ye both, by your might, hold the universe; O lord, taking up that fierce bow whose twang resembled the deep roar of the clouds, thou, as well as Krishna, chastisedest the Danavas during the coronation of Indra. Even this Gandiva is that bow, O son of Pritha, fit for thy hands. O foremost of male beings, I snatched it from thee, helped by my powers of illusion. This couple of quivers, fit for thee, will again be inexhaustible, O son of Pritha! And, O son of the Kuru race, thy body will be free from pain and disease. Thy prowess is incapable of being baffled. I have been pleased with thee. And, O first of male beings, ask thou of me the boon that thou desirest. O chastiser of all foes, O giver of proper respect, (to those deserving it) not even in heaven is there any male being who is equal to thee, nor any Kshatriya who is thy superior.’
“Arjuna said, ’O illustrious god having the bull for thy sign, if thou wilt grant me my desire, I ask of thee, O lord that fierce celestial weapon wielded by thee and called Brahmasira—that weapon of terrific prowess which destroyeth, at the end of the Yuga the entire universe—that weapon by the help of which, O god of gods, I may under thy grace, obtain victory in the terrible conflict which shall take place between myself (on one side), and Karna and Bhishma and Kripa and Drona (on the other)—that weapon by which I may consume in battle Danavas and Rakshasas and evil spirits and Pisachas and Gandharvas and Nagas—that weapon which when hurled with Mantras produceth darts by thousands and fierce-looking maces and arrows like snakes of virulent poison, and by means of which I may fight with Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and Karna of ever abusive tongue, O illustrious destroyer of the eyes of Bhaga, even this is my foremost desire, viz., that I may be able to fight with them and obtain success.’
“Bhava replied, ’O powerful one, I will give to thee that favourite weapon of mine called the Pasuputa. O son of Pandu, thou art capable of holding, hurling, and withdrawing it. Neither the chief himself of the gods, nor Yama, nor the king of the Yakshas, nor Varuna, nor Vayu, knoweth it. How could men know anything of it? But, O son of Pritha, this weapon should not be hurled without adequate cause; for if hurled at any foe of little might it may destroy the whole universe. In the three worlds with all their mobile and immobile creatures, there is none who is incapable of being slain by this weapon. And it may be hurled by the mind, by the eye, by words, and by the bow.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Hearing these words, the son of Pritha purified himself. And approaching the lord of the universe with rapt attention, he said, ‘Instruct me!’ Mahadeva then imparted unto that best of Pandu’s son the knowledge of that weapon looking like the embodiment of Yama, together with all the mysteries about hurling and withdrawing it. And that weapon thence began to wait upon Arjuna as it did upon Sankara, the lord of Uma. And Arjuna also gladly accepted it. And at the moment the whole earth, with its mountains and woods and trees and seas and forests and villages and towns and mines, trembled. And the sounds of conchs and drums and trumpets by thousands began to be heard. And at that moment hurricanes and whirlwinds began to blow. And the gods and the Danavas beheld that terrible weapon in its embodied form stay by the side of Arjuna of immeasurable energy. And whatever of evil there had been in the body of Phalguna of immeasurable energy was all dispelled by the touch of the three-eyed deity. And the three eyed god then commanded Arjuna, saying, ‘Go thou into heaven.’ Arjuna then, O king, worshipping the god with bent head, gazed at him, with joined hands. Then the lord of all the dwellers of heaven, the deity of blazing splendour having his abode on mountain-breasts, the husband of Uma, the god of passions under complete control, the source of all blessings, Bhava gave unto Arjuna, that foremost of men, the great bow called Gandiva, destructive of Danavas and Pisachas. And the god of gods, then leaving that blessed mountain with snowy plateaus and vales and caves, favourite resort of sky-ranging great Rishis, went up, accompanied by Uma into the skies, in the sight of that foremost of men.”
Vaisampayana said, “The wielder of the Pinaka, having the bull for his sign, thus disappeared in the very sight of the gazing son of Pandu, like the sun setting in the sight of the world. Arjuna, that slayer of hostile heroes, wondered much at this, saying, ’O, I have seen the great god of gods. Fortunate, indeed I am, and much favoured, for I have both beheld and touched with my hand the three-eyed Hara the wielder of the Pinaka, in his boon-giving form. I shall win success. I am already great. My enemies have already been vanquished by me. My purposes have been already achieved.’ And while the son of Pritha, endued with immeasurable energy, was thinking thus, there came to that place Varuna the god of waters, handsome and of the splendour of the lapis lazuri accompanied by all kinds of aquatic creatures, and filling all the points of the horizon with a blazing effulgence. And accompanied by Rivers both male and female, and Nagas, and Daityas and Sadhyas and inferior deities, Varuna, the controller and lord of all aquatic creatures, arrived at that spot. There came also the lord Kuvera of body resembling pure gold, seated on his car of great splendour,
Vaisampayana continued, “O Janamejaya, the son of Pritha then received from Yama that weapon duly, along with the Mantras and rite, and the mysteries of hurling and withdrawing it. Then Varuna, the lord of all aquatic creatures, blue as the clouds, from a summit he had occupied on the west, uttered these words, ’O son of Pritha, thou art the foremost of Kshatriyas, and engaged in Kshatriya practices. O thou of large coppery eyes, behold me! I am Varuna, the lord of waters. Hurled by me, my nooses are incapable of being resisted. O son of Kunti, accept of me these Varuna weapons along with the mysteries of hurling and withdrawing them. With these, O hero, in the battle that ensued of your on account of Taraka (the wife of Vrihaspati), thousands of mighty Daityas were seized and tied. Accept them of me. Even if Yama himself by thy foe, with these in thy hands, he will not be able to escape from thee. When thou wilt armed with these, range over the field of battle, the land, beyond doubt, will be destitute of Kshatriyas.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “After both Varuna and Yama had given away their celestial weapons, the lord of treasures having his home on the heights of Kailasa, then spake, ’O son of Pandu, O thou of great might and wisdom, I too have been pleased with thee. And this meeting with thee giveth me as much pleasure as a meeting with Krishna. O wielder of the bow with the left hand, O thou of mighty arms, thou wert a god before, eternal (as other gods). In ancient Kalpas, thou hadst every day gone through ascetic austerities along with us. O best of men, I grant thee celestial vision. O thou of mighty arms, thou wilt defeat even invincible Daityas and Danavas. Accept of me also without loss of time, an excellent weapon. With this thou wilt be able to consume the ranks of Dhritarashtra. Take then this favourite weapon of mine called Antarddhana. Endued with energy and prowess and splendour, it is capable of sending the foe to sleep. When the illustrious Sankara slew Tripura, even this was the weapon which he shot and by which many mighty Asuras were consumed. O thou of invincible prowess I take it up for giving it to thee. Endued with the dignity of the Meru, thou art competent to hold this weapon.’
“After these words had been spoken, the Kuru prince Arjuna endued with great strength, duly received from Kuvera that celestial weapon. Then the chief of the celestials addressing Pritha’s son of ceaseless deeds in sweet words, said, in a voice deep as that the clouds or the kettle-drum, ’O thou mighty-armed son of Kunti, thou art an ancient god. Thou hast already achieved the highest success, and acquired the stature of a god. But, O represser of foes, thou hast yet to accomplish the purposes of the gods. Thou must ascend to heaven. Therefore prepare thou O hero of great splendour! My own car with Matali as charioteer, will soon descend on the earth. Taking thee, O Kaurava, to heaven, I will grant thee there all my celestial weapons.’
“Beholding those protectors of the worlds assembled together on the heights of Himavat, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, wondered much. Endued with great energy, he then duly worshipped the assembled Lokapalas, with words, water, and fruits. The celestials then returning that worship, went away. And the gods capable of going everywhere at will, and endued with the speed of the mind, returned to the places whence they had come.
“That bull among men—Arjuna—having obtained weapons thus, was filled with pleasure. And he regarded himself as one whose desires had been fulfilled and who was crowned with success.”
Vaisampayana said, “After the Lokapalas had gone away, Arjuna—that slayer of all foes—began to think, O monarch, of the car of Indra! And as Gudakesa gifted with great intelligence was thinking of it, the car endued with great effulgence and guided by Matali, came dividing the clouds and illuminating the firmament and filling the entire welkin with its rattle deep as the roar of mighty masses of clouds. Swords, and missiles of terrible forms and maces of frightful description, and winged darts of celestials splendour and lightnings of the brightest effulgence, and thunderbolts, and propellors furnished with wheels and worked with atmosphere expansion and producing sounds loud as the roar of great masses of clouds, were on that car. And there were also on that car fierce and huge-bodied Nagas with fiery mouths, and heaps of stones white as the fleecy clouds. And the car was drawn by ten thousands of horses of golden hue, endued with the speed of the wind. And furnished with prowess of illusion, the car was drawn with such speed that the eye could hardly mark its progress. And Arjuna saw on that car the flag-staff called Vaijayanta, of blazing effulgence, resembling in hue the emerald or the dark-blue lotus, and decked with golden ornaments and straight as the bamboo. And beholding a charioteer decked in gold seated on that car, the mighty-armed son of Pritha regarded it as belonging to the celestials. And while Arjuna was occupied with his thoughts regarding the car, the charioteer Matali, bending himself after descending from the car, addressed him, saying, ’O lucky son of Sakra! Sakra himself wisheth to see thee. Ascend thou without loss of time this car that hath been sent by Indra. The chief of the immortals, thy father—that god of a hundred sacrifices—hath commanded me, saying, Bring the son of Kunti hither. Let the gods behold him. And Sankara himself, surrounded by the celestials and Rishis and Gandharvas and Apsaras, waiteth to behold thee. At the command of the chastiser of Paka, therefore, ascend thou with me from this to the region of the celestials. Thou wilt return after obtaining weapons.’
“Arjuna replied, ’O Matali, mount thou without loss of time this excellent car, a car that cannot be attained even by hundreds of Rajasuya and horse sacrifices. Even kings of great prosperity who have performed great sacrifices distinguished by large gifts (to Brahmanas), even gods and Danavas are not competent to ride this car. He that hath not ascetic merit is not competent to even see or touch this car, far less to ride on it. O blessed one, after thou hast ascended it, and after the horses have become still, I will ascend it, like a virtuous man stepping into the high-road of honesty.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Matali, the charioteer of Sakra, hearing these words of Arjuna, soon mounted the car and controlled the horses. Arjuna then, with a cheerful heart, purified himself by a bath in the Ganges. And the son of Kunti then duly repeated (inaudibly) his customary prayers. He then, duly and according to the ordinance, gratified the Pitris with oblations of water. And, lastly, he commenced to invoke the Mandara—that king of mountains—saying, ’O mountain, thou art ever the refuge of holy, heaven-seeking Munis of virtuous conduct and behaviour. It is through thy grace, O mountain, that Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas attain heaven, and their anxieties gone, sport with the celestials. O king of mountains, O mountain, thou art the asylum of Munis, and thou holdest on thy breast numerous sacred shrines. Happily have I dwelt on thy heights. I leave thee now, bidding thee farewell. Oft have I seen thy tablelands and bowers, thy springs and brooks, and the sacred shrines on thy breast. I have also eaten the savoury fruits growing on thee, and have slated my thirst with draughts of perfumed water oozing from the body. I have also drunk the water of thy springs, sweet as amrita itself. O mountain, as a child sleepeth happily on the lap of his father, so have I, O king of mountains, O excellent one, sported on thy breast, echoing with the notes of Apsaras and the chanting of the Vedas. O mountain, every day have I lived happily on thy tablelands.’ Thus having bidden farewell to the mountain, that slayer of hostile heroes—Arjuna—blazing like the Sun himself, ascended the celestial car. And the Kuru prince gifted with great intelligence, with a glad heart, coursed through the firmament on that celestial car effulgent as the sun and of extra-ordinary achievements. And after he had become invisible to the mortals of the earth, he beheld thousands of cars of extra-ordinary beauty. And in that region there was no sun or moon or fire to give light, but it blazed in light of its own, generated by virtue of ascetic merit. And those brilliant regions that are seen from the earth in the form of stars, like lamps (in the sky)—so small in consequence of their distance, though very large—were beheld by the son of Pandu, stationed in their respective places, full of beauty and effulgence and blazing
Vaisampayana said, “And the city of Indra which Arjuna saw was delightful and was the resort of Siddhas and Charanas. And it was adorned with the flowers of every season, and with sacred trees of all kinds. And he beheld also celestial gardens called Nandana—the favourite resort of Apsaras. And fanned by the fragrant breezes charged with the farina of sweet-scented flowers, the trees with their lord of celestial blossoms seemed to welcome him amongst them. And the region was such that none could behold it who had not gone through ascetic austerities, or who had not poured libations on fire. It was a region for the virtuous alone, and not for those who had turned their back on the field of battle. And none were competent to see it who had not performed sacrifices or observed rigid vows, or who were without a knowledge of the Vedas, or who had not bathed in sacred waters, or who were not distinguished for sacrifices and gifts. And none were competent to see it who were disturbers of sacrifices, or who were low, or who drank intoxicating liquors, or who were violators of their preceptors’ bed, or who were eaters of (unsanctified) meat, or who were wicked. And having beheld those celestial gardens resounding with celestial music, the strong-armed son of Pandu entered the favourite city of Indra. And he beheld there celestial cars by thousands, capable of going everywhere at will, stationed in proper places. And he saw tens of thousands of such cars moving in every direction. And fanned by pleasant breezes charged with the perfumes of flowers, the son of Pandu was praised by Apsaras and Gandharvas. And the
Vaisampayana said, “The gods and the Gandharvas then, understanding the wishes of Indra, procured an excellent Arghya and reverenced the son of Pritha in a hurry. And giving water to wash both his feet and face, they caused the prince to enter the palace of Indra. And thus worshipped, Jishnu continued to live in the abode of his father. And the son of Pandu continued all the while to acquire celestial weapons, together with the means of withdrawing them. And he received from the hands of Sakra his favourite weapon of irresistible force, viz., the thunder-bolt and those other weapons also, of tremendous roar, viz., the lightnings of heaven, whose flashes are inferable from the appearance of clouds and (the dancing of) peacocks. And the son of Pandu, after he had obtained those weapons, recollected his brothers. And at the command of Indra, however, he lived for full five years in heaven, surrounded by every comfort and luxury.
“After some time, when Arjuna had obtained all the weapons, Indra addressed him in due time, saying, ’O son of Kunti, learn thou music and dancing from Chitrasena. Learn the instrumental music that is current among the celestials and which existeth not in the world of men, for, O son of Kunti, it will be to thy benefit.’ And Parandana gave Chitrasena as a friend unto Arjuna. And the son of Pritha lived happily in peace with Chitrasena. And Chitrasena instructed Arjuna all the while in music; vocal and instrumental and in dancing. But the active Arjuna obtained no peace of mind, remembering the unfair play at dice of Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and thinking with rage of Dussasana and his death. When however, his friendship with Chitrasena had ripened fully, he at times learned the unrivalled dance and music practised among the Gandharvas. And at last having learnt various kinds of dance and diverse species of music, both vocal and instrumental, that slayer of hostile heroes obtained no peace of mind remembering his brothers and mother Kunti.”
Vaisampayana said, “One day, knowing that Arjuna’s glances were cast upon Urvasi, Vasava, calling Chitrasena to himself, addressed him in private saying, ’O king of Gandharvas, I am pleased; go thou as my messenger to that foremost of Apsaras, Urvasi, and let her wait upon that tiger among men, Phalguna. Tell her, saying these words of mine, ’As through my instrumentality Arjuna hath learnt all the weapons and other arts, worshipped by all, so shouldst thou make him conversant with the arts of acquitting one’s self in female company.’ Thus addressed by Indra, the chief of the Gandharvas in obedience to that command of Vasava, soon went to Urvasi that foremost of Apsaras. And as he saw her, she recognised him and delighted him by the welcome she offered and the salutation she gave. And seated at ease he then smilingly addressed Urvasi, who also was seated at ease, saying, ’Let it be known, O thou of fair hips, that I come hither despatched by the one sole lord of heaven who asketh of thee a favour. He who is known amongst gods and men for his many inborn virtues, for his grace, behaviour, beauty of person, vows and self-control; who is noted for might and prowess, and respected by the virtuous, and ready-witted; who is endued with genius and splendid energy, is of a forgiving temper and without malice of any kind; who hath studied the four Vedas with their branches, and the Upanishads, and the Puranas also; who is endued with devotion to his preceptors and with intellect possessed of the eight attributes, who by his abstinence, ability, origin and age, is alone capable of protecting the celestial regions like Mahavat himself; who is never boastful; who showeth proper respect to all; who beholdeth the minutest things as clearly as if those were gross and large; who is sweet-speeched; who showereth diverse kinds of food and drink on his friends and dependents; who is truthful, worshipped of all, eloquent, handsome, and without pride; who is kind to those devoted to him, and universally pleasing and dear to all; who is firm in promise; who is equal to even Mahendra and Varuna in respect of every desirable attribute, viz., Arjuna, is known to thee. O Urvasi, know thou that hero is to be made to taste the joys of heaven. Commanded by Indra, let him today obtain thy feet. Do this, O amiable one, for Dhananjaya is inclined to thee.’
“Thus addressed, Urvasi of faultless features assumed a smiling face, and receiving the words of the Gandharva with high respect, answered with a glad heart, saying, ’Hearing of the virtues that should adorn men, as unfolded by thee, I would bestow my favours upon any one who happened to possess them. Why should I not then, choose Arjuna for a lover? At the command of Indra, and for my friendship for thee, and moved also by the numerous virtues of Phalguna, I am already under the influence of the god of love. Go thou, therefore, to the place thou desirest. I shall gladly go to Arjuna.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Having thus sent away the Gandharva successful in his mission, Urvasi of luminous smiles, moved by the desire of possessing Phalguna, took a bath. And having performed her ablutions, she decked herself in charming ornaments and splendid garlands of celestial odour. And inflamed by the god of love, and her heart pierced through and through by the shafts shot by Manmatha keeping in view the beauty of Arjuna, and her imagination wholly taken up by the thoughts of Arjuna, she mentally sported with him on a wide and excellent bed laid over with celestial sheets. And when the twilight had deepened and the moon was up, that Apsara of high hips set out for the mansions of Arjuna. And in that mood and with her crisp, soft and long braids decked with bunches of flowers, she looked extremely beautiful. With her beauty and grace, and the charm of the motions of her eye-brows and of her soft accents, and her own moon like face, she seemed to tread, challenging the moon himself. And as she proceeded, her deep, finely tapering bosoms, decked with a chain of gold and adorned with celestial unguents and smeared with fragrant sandal paste, began to tremble. And in consequence of the weight of her bosoms, she was forced to slightly stoop forward at every step, bending her waist exceedingly beautiful with three folds. And her loins of faultless shape, the elegant abode of the god of love, furnished with fair and high and round hips and wide at their lower part as a hill, and decked with chains of gold, and capable of shaking the saintship of anchorites, being decked with thin attire, appeared highly graceful. And her feet with fair suppressed ankles, and possessing flat soles and straight toes of the colour of burnished copper and high and curved like tortoise back and marked by the wearing of ornaments furnished with rows of little bells, looked exceedingly handsome. And exhilarated with a little liquor which she had taken, and excited by desire, and moving in diverse attitudes and expressing a sensation of delight, she looked more handsome than usual. And though heaven abounded with many wonderful objects, yet when Urvasi proceeded in this manner, the Siddhas and Charanas and Gandharvas regarded her to be the handsomest object they had cast their eyes upon. And the upper half of her body clad in an attire of fine texture and cloudy hues, she looked resplendent like a digit of the moon in the firmament shrouded by fleecy clouds. And endued with the speed of the winds or the mind, she of luminous smiles soon reached the mansion of Phalguna, the son of Pandu. And, O best of men, Urvasi of beautiful eyes, having arrived at the gate of Arjuna’s abode, sent word through the keeper in attendance. And (on receiving permission), she soon entered that brilliant and charming palace. But, O monarch, upon beholding her at night in his mansion, Arjuna, with a fearstricken heart, stepped up to receive her with respect and as soon as he saw her, the son of Pritha, from modesty, closed his eyes. And saluting her, he offered the Apsara such worship as is offered unto a superior. And Arjuna said, ’O thou foremost of the Apsaras, I reverence thee by bending my head down. O lady, let me know thy commands. I wait upon thee as thy servant.’”
Vaisampayana continued, ’Hearing these words of Phalguna, Urvasi became deprived of her senses. And she soon represented unto Arjuna all that had passed between her and the Gandharva, Chitrasena. And she said, ’O best of men, I shall tell thee all that hath passed between me and Chitrasena, and why I have come hither. On account of thy coming here, O Arjuna, Mahendra had convened a large and charming assembly, in which celestial festivities were held. Unto that assembly came, O best of men, the Rudras and the Adityas and the Aswins and the Vasus. And there came also numbers of great Rishis and royal sages and Siddhas and Charanas and Yakshas and great Nagas. And, O thou of expansive eyes, the members of the assembly resplendent as fire or the sun or the moon, having taken their seats according to rank, honour, and prowess, O son of Sakra, the Gandharvas began to strike the Vinas and sing charming songs of celestial melody. And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, the principal Apsaras also commenced to dance. Then, O son of Pritha, thou hadst looked on me only with a steadfast gaze. When that assembly of the celestials broke, commanded by thy father, the gods went away to their respective places. And the principal Apsaras also went away to their abodes, and others also, O slayer of foes, commanded by thy father and obtaining his leave. It was then that Chitrasena sent to me by Sakra, and arriving at my abode, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, he addressed me, saying, “O thou of the fairest complexion, I have been sent unto thee by the chief of the celestials. Do thou something that would be agreeable to Mahendra and myself and to thyself also. O thou of fair hips, seek thou to please Arjuna, who is brave in battle even like Sakra himself, and who is always possessed of magnanimity.” Even these, O son of Pritha, were his words. Thus, O sinless one, commanded by him and thy father also, I come to thee in order to wait upon thee, O slayer of foes. My heart hath been attracted by thy virtues, and am already under the influence of the god of love. And, O hero, even this is my wish, and I have cherished it for ever!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “While in heaven, hearing her speak in this strain, Arjuna was overcome with bashfulness. And shutting his ears with his hands, he said, ’O blessed lady, fie on my sense of hearing, when thou speakest thus to me. For, O thou of beautiful face, thou art certainly equal in my estimation unto the wife of a superior. Even as Kunti of high fortune or Sachi the queen of Indra, art thou to me, O auspicious one, of this there is no doubt! That I had gazed particularly at thee, O blessed one, is true. There was a reason for it. I shall truly tell it to thee, O thou of luminous smiles! In the assembly I gazed at thee with eyes expanded in delight, thinking, Even this blooming lady is the mother of the Kaurava race. O blessed Apsara, it behoveth thee not to entertain other feelings towards me, for thou art superior to my superiors, being the parent of my race.’
“Hearing these words of Arjuna, Urvasi answered, saying, ’O son of the chief of the celestials, we Apsaras are free and unconfined in our choice. It behoveth thee not, therefore, to esteem me as thy superior. The sons and grandsons of Puru’s race, that have come hither in consequence of ascetic merit do all sport with us, without incurring any sin. Relent, therefore, O hero, it behoveth thee not to send me away. I am burning with desire. I am devoted to thee. Accept me, O thou giver of proper respect.’
“Arjuna replied, ’O beautiful lady of features perfectly faultless, listen. I truly tell thee. Let the four directions and the transverse directions, let also the gods listen. O sinless one, as Kunti, or Madri, or Sachi, is to me, so art thou, the parent of my race, an object of reverence to me. Return, O thou of the fairest complexion: I bend my head unto thee, and prostrate myself at thy feet. Thou deservest my worship as my own mother; and it behoveth thee to protect me as a son.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by Partha, Urvasi was deprived of her senses by wrath. Trembling with rage, and contracting her brows, she cursed Arjuna, saying, ’Since thou disregardest a woman come to thy mansion at the command of thy father and of her own motion—a woman, besides, who is pierced by the shafts of Kama, therefore, O Partha, thou shalt have to pass thy time among females unregarded, and as a dancer, and destitute of manhood and scorned as a eunuch.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Having cursed Arjuna thus, Urvasi’s lips still quivered in anger, herself breathing heavily all the while. And she soon returned to her own abode. And that slayer of foes, Arjuna also sought Chitrasena without loss of time. And having found him, he told him all that had passed between him and Urvasi in the night. And he told Chitrasena everything as it had happened, repeatedly referring to the curse pronounced upon him. And Chitrasena also represented everything unto Sakra. And Harivahana, calling his son unto himself in private, and consoling him in sweet words, smilingly said, ’O thou best of beings, having obtained thee, O child, Pritha hath to-day become a truly blessed mother. O mighty-armed one, thou hast now vanquished even Rishis by the patience and self-control. But, O giver of proper respect, the curse that Urvasi hath denounced on thee will be to thy benefit, O child, and stand thee in good stead. O sinless one, ye will have on earth to pass the thirteenth year (of your exile), unknown to all. It is then that thou shalt suffer the curse of Urvasi. And having passed one year as a dancer without manhood, thou shalt regain thy power on the expiration of the term.’
“Thus addressed by Sakra, that slayer of hostile heroes, Phalguna, experienced great delight and ceased to think of the curse. And Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu, sported in regions of heaven with the Gandharva Chitrasena of great celebrity.
“The desires of the man that listeneth to this history of the son of Pandu never run after lustful ends. The foremost of men, by listening to this account of the awfully pure conduct of Phalguna, the son of the lord of the celestials, become void of pride and arrogance and wrath and other faults, and ascending to heaven, sport there in bliss.”
Vaisampayana said, “One day, the great Rishi Lomasa in course of his wanderings, went to the abode of Indra, desirous of beholding the lord of the celestials. And the great Muni, having approached the chief of the gods, bowed to him respectfully. And he beheld the son of Pandu occupying half of the seat of Vasava. And worshipped by the great Rishis, that foremost of Brahmanas sat on an excellent seat at the desire of Sakra. And beholding Arjuna seated on Indra’s seat, the Rishi began to think as to how Arjuna who was a Kshatriya had attained to the seat of Sakra himself. What acts of merit had been performed by him and what regions had been conquered by him (by ascetic merit), that he had obtained a seat that was worshipped by the gods themselves? And as the Rishi was employed with these thoughts, Sakra, the slayer of Vritra, came to know of them. And having known them, the lord of Sachi addressed Lomasa with a smile and said, ’Listen, O Brahmarshi, about what is now passing in thy mind. This one is no mortal though he hath taken his birth among men. O great Rishi, the mighty-armed hero is even my son born of Kunti. He hath come hither, in order to acquire weapons for some purpose. Alas! dost thou not recognise him as an ancient Rishi of the highest merit? Listen to me, O Brahmana, as I tell thee who is and why he hath come to me. Those ancient and excellent Rishis who were known by the names of Nara and Narayana are, know, O Brahmana, none else than Hrishikesa and Dhananjaya. And those Rishis, celebrated throughout the three worlds, and known by the names of Nara and Narayana have, for the accomplishment of a certain purpose, been born on earth—for the acquisition of virtue. That sacred asylum which even gods and illustrious Rishis are not competent to behold, and which is known throughout the world by the name of Vadari, and situate by the source of the Ganga, which is worshipped by the Siddhas and the Charanas, was the abode, O Brahmana, of Vishnu and Jishnu. Those Rishis of blazing splendour have, O Brahmarshi, at my desire, been born on earth, and endued with mighty energy, will lighten the burden thereof. Besides this, there are certain Asuras known as Nivatakavachas, who, proud of the boon they have acquired, are employed in doing us injuries. Boastful of their strength, they are even now planning the destruction of the gods, for, having received a boon, they no longer regard the gods. Those fierce and mighty Danavas live in the nether regions. Even all the celestials together are incapable of fighting with them.
“After Mahendra had spoken thus unto Lomasa, Vibhatsu also reverently addressed that Rishi, saying, ’Protect thou ever the son of Pandu. O best of men, let the king, O great Rishi, protected by thee, visit the various places of pilgrimage and give away unto Brahmanas in charity.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “The mighty ascetic Lomasa, having answered both saying, ‘So be it,’ set out for the earth, desirous of arriving at Kamvaka. And having arrived at those woods, he beheld the slayer of foes and son of Kunti, king Yudhishthira the just, surrounded by ascetics and his younger brothers.”
Janamejaya said, “These feats of Pritha’s son endued with immeasurable energy, were certainly marvellous. O Brahmana, what did Dhritarashtra of great wisdom say, when he heard of them?”
Vaisampayana said, “Amvika’s son, king Dhritarashtra, having heard of Arjuna’s arrival and stay at Indra’s abode, from Dwaiparana, that foremost of Rishis, spake unto Sanjaya, saying, ’O charioteer, dost thou know in detail the acts of the intelligent Arjuna, of which I have heard from beginning to end? O charioteer, my wretched and sinful son is even now engaged in a policy of the most vulgar kind. Of wicked soul, he will certainly depopulate the earth. The illustrious person whose words even in jest are true, and who hath Dhananjaya to fight for him, is sure to win the three worlds. Who that is even beyond the influence of Death and Decay will be able to stay before Arjuna, when he will scatter his barbed and sharp-pointed arrows whetted on stone? My wretched sons, who have to fight with the invincible Pandavas are indeed, all doomed. Reflecting day and night, I see not the warrior amongst us that is able to stay in battle before the wielder of the Gandiva. If Drona, or Karna, or even Bhishma advance against him in battle, a great calamity is likely to befall the earth. But even in that case, I see not the way to our success. Karna is kind and forgetful. The preceptor Drona is old, and the teacher (of Arjuna) Arjuna, however, is wrathful, and strong, and proud, and of firm and steady prowess. As all these warriors are invincible, a terrible fight will take place between them. All of them are heroes skilled in weapons and of great reputation. They would not wish for the sovereignty of the world, if it was to be purchased by defeat. Indeed, peace will be restored only on the death of these or of Phalguna. The slayer of Arjuna, however, existeth not, nor doth one that can vanquish him. Oh, how shall that wrath of his which hath myself for its object be pacified. Equal unto the chief of the celestials, that hero gratified Agni at Khandava and vanquished all the monarchs of the earth on the occasion of the great Rajasuya. O Sanjaya, the thunder-bolt falling on the mountain top, leaveth a portion unconsumed; but the shafts, O child, that are shot by Kiriti leave not a rack behind. As the rays of the sun heat this mobile and immobile universe, so will the shafts shot by Arjuna’s hands scorch my sons. It seemeth to me that the Chamus of the Bharatas, terrified at the clatter of Arjuna’s chariot-wheels, are already broken through in all directions. Vidhatri hath created Arjuna as an all-consuming Destroyer. He stayeth in battle as a foe, vomitting and scattering swarms of arrows. Who is there that will defeat him?’”
“Sanjaya said, ’That which hath been uttered by thee, O king, with respect to Duryodhana is all true. Nothing that thou hast said, O lord of the earth, is untrue. The Pandavas of immeasurable energy have been filled with rage at the sight of Krishna their wedded wife of pure fame—brought in the midst of the assembly. Hearing also those cruel words of Dussasana and Karna, they have been so incensed, O king, that they will not, I ween, forgive (the Kurus) on my account. I have heard, O king, how Arjuna hath gratified in battle by means of his bow the god of gods—Sthanu of eleven forms. The illustrious lord of all the gods—Kapardin himself—desirous of testing Phalguna, fought with him, having assumed the guise of a Kirata. And there it was that the Lokapala, in order to give away their weapons unto that bull of the Kuru race, showed themselves unto him of undeteriorating prowess. What other man on earth, except Phalguna, would strive to have a sight of these gods in their own forms? And, O king, who is there that will weaken in battle Arjuna, who could not be weakened by Maheswara himself possessed of eight forms? Thy sons, having dragged Draupadi, and thereby incensed the sons of Pandu, have brought this frightful and horrifying calamity upon themselves. Beholding Duryodhana showing both his thighs unto Draupadi, Bhima said with quivering lips, wretch! those thighs of thine will I smash with my fierce descending mace, on the expiration of thirteen years. All the sons of Pandu are the foremost of smiters; all of them are of immeasurable energy; all of them are well-versed in every kind of weapons. For these, they are incapable of being vanquished even by the gods. Incensed at the insult offered to their wedded wife, Pritha’s sons, urged by wrath, will, I ween, slay all thy sons in battle.’
“Dhritarashtra said, ’O charioteer, what mischief hath been done by Karna uttering those cruel words, to the sons of Pandu! Was not the enmity sufficient that was provoked by bringing Krishna into the assembly? How can my wicked sons live, whose eldest brother and preceptor walketh not in the path of righteousness? Seeing me void of eye-sight, and incapable of exerting myself actively, my wretched son, O charioteer, believeth me to be a fool, and listeneth not to my words. Those wretches also that are his counsellors, viz., Karna and Suvala, and others, always pander to his vices, as he is incapable of understanding things rightly. The shafts that Arjuna of immeasurable prowess may lightly shoot, are capable of consuming all my sons, leave alone those shafts that he will shoot, impelled by anger. The arrows urged by the might of Arjuna’s arms and shot from his large bow, and inspired with mantras capable of converting them into celestial weapons can chastise the celestials themselves. He who hath for his counsellor and protector and friend that smiter of sinful men—the lord of the three worlds—Hari himself—encountereth
Janamejaya said, “Having sent the heroic sons of Pandu into exile, these lamentations, O Muni, of Dhritarashtra were perfectly futile. Why did the king permit his foolish son Duryodhana to thus incense those mighty warriors, the sons of Pandu? Tell us now, O Brahmana, what was the food of the sons of Pandu, while they lived in the woods? Was it of the wilderness, or was it the produce of cultivation?”
Vaisampayana said, “Those bulls among men, collecting the produce of the wilderness and killing the deer with pure arrows, first dedicated a portion of the food to the Brahmanas, and themselves are the rest. For, O king, while those heroes wielding large bows lived in the woods, they were followed by Brahmanas of both classes, viz., those worshipping with fire and those worshipping without it. And there were ten thousand illustrious Snataka Brahmanas, all conversant with the means of salvation, whom Yudhishthira supported in the woods. And killing with arrows Rurus and the black deer and other kinds of clean animals of the wilderness, he gave them unto those Brahmanas. And no one that lived with Yudhishthira looked pale or ill, or was lean or weak, or was melancholy or terrified. And the chief of the Kurus—the virtuous king Yudhishthira—maintained his brothers as if they were his sons, and his relatives as if they were his uterine brothers. And Draupadi of pure fame fed her husbands and the Brahmanas, as if she was their mother; and last of all took her food herself. And the king himself wending towards the east, and Bhima, towards the south, and the twins, towards the west and the north, daily killed with bow in hand the deer of the forest, for the sake of meat. And it was that the Pandavas lived for five years in the woods of Kamyaka, in anxiety at the absence of Arjuna, and engaged all the while in study and prayers and sacrifices.”
Vaisampayana said, “That bull among men—Dhritarashtra—the son of Amvika, having heard of this wonderful way of life—so above that of men—of the sons of Pandu, was filled with anxiety and grief. And overwhelmed with melancholy and sighing heavily and hot, that monarch, addressing his charioteer Sanjaya, said, ’O charioteer, a moment’s peace I have not, either during the day or the night, thinking of the terrible misbehaviour of my sons arising out
“Sanjaya said, ’This hath been thy great fault, O king, viz., that though capable, thou didst not, from affection prevent thy son from doing what he hath done. The slayer of Madhu, that hero of unfading glory, hearing that the Pandavas had been defeated at dice, soon went to the woods of Kamyaka and consoled them there. And Draupadi’s sons also headed by Dhrishtadyumna, and Virata, and Dhrishtaketu, and those mighty warriors, the Kekayas, all went there. All that was said by these warriors at the sight of Pandu’s son defeated at dice, was learnt by me through our spies. I have also told thee all, O king. When the slayer of Madhu met the Pandavas, they requested him to become the charioteer of Phalguna in battle. Hari himself, thus requested, answered them, saying, so be it. And even Krishna himself beholding the sons of Pritha dressed in deer skins, became filled with rage, and addressing Yudhishthira, said, “That prosperity which the sons of Pritha had acquired at Indraprastha, and which, unobtainable by other kings, was beheld by me at the Rajasuya sacrifice, at which, besides,
“Dhritarashtra said, ’What Vidura told me at the time of the game at dice, “If thou seekest, O king, to vanquish the Pandavas (at dice), then certainly a terrible blood-shed ending in the destruction of all the Kurus will be the result,” I think it is about to be realised. As Vidura told me of old, without doubt a terrible battle will take place, as soon as the pledged period of the Pandavas expireth.’”
Janamejaya said, “When the high-souled Partha went to Indra’s region for obtaining weapons, what did Yudhishthira and the other sons of Pandu do?”
Vaisampayana said, “When the high-souled Partha went to Indra’s region for obtaining weapons, those bulls of the Bharata race continued to dwell with Krishna in (the woods of) Kamyaka. One day, those foremost of the Bharatas, afflicted with grief, were seated with Krishna on a clean and solitary sward. Grieving for Dhananjaya, overwhelmed with sorrow, their voices were choked with weeping. Tortured by Dhananjaya’s absence, grief afflicted them equally. And filled with sorrow at their separation from Arjuna and at the loss of their kingdom, the mighty-armed Bhima among them addressed Yudhishthira, saying, ’That Bull of the Bharata race, Arjuna, O great king, on whom depend the lives of Pandu’s sons, and on whose death the Panchalas as also ourselves with our sons and Satyaki and Vasudeva are sure to die, hath gone away at thy behest. What can be sadder than this that the virtuous Vibhatsu hath gone away at thy command, thinking of his many griefs? Depending upon the might of that illustrious hero’s arms, regard our foes as already vanquished in battle, and the whole earth itself as already acquired by us. It was for the sake of that mighty warrior that I refrained from sending to the other world all the Dhartarashtras along with the Suvalas, in the midst of the assembly. Gifted with might of arms, and supported by Vasudeva, we have to suppress the wrath that hath been roused in us, because thou art the root of that wrath. Indeed, with Krishna’s help, slaying our foes headed by Karna, we are able to rule the entire earth (thus) conquered by our own arms. Endued with manliness, we are yet overwhelmed
Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by Bhima, king Yudhishthira the just, smelt the crown of that son of Pandu, and pacifying him said, ’O mighty-armed one, without doubt, thou wilt, assisted by the wielder of the Gandiva, slay Suyodhana at the expiry of the thirteenth year. But, O son of Pritha, as for thy assertion, O Lord, the time is complete, I cannot dare tell an untruth, for untruth is not in me. O son of Kunti, without the help of fraud, wilt thou kill the wicked and irrepressible Duryodhana, with his allies.’
“While Yudhishthira the just, was speaking unto Bhima thus, there came the great and illustrious Rishi Vrihadaswa before them. And beholding that virtuous ascetic before him, the righteous king worshipped him according to the ordinance, with the offering of Madhuparka. And when the ascetic was seated and refreshed, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira sat by him, and looking up at the former, addressed him thus in exceedingly piteous accents:
“’O holy one, summoned by cunning gamblers skilled at dice, I have been deprived of wealth and kingdom through gambling. I am not an adept at dice, and am unacquainted with deceit. Sinful men, by unfair means, vanquished me at play. They even brought into the public assembly my wife dearer unto me than life itself. And defeating me a second time, they have sent me to distressful exile in this great forest, clad in deer skins. At present I am leading a distressful life in the woods in grief of heart. Those harsh and cruel speeches they addressed me on the occasion of that gambling match, and the words of my afflicted friends relating to the match at dice and other subjects, are all stored up in my remembrance. Recollecting them I pass the whole night in (sleepless) anxiety. Deprived also (of the company) of the illustrious wielder of the Gandiva, on whom depend the lives of us all, I am almost deprived of life. Oh, when shall I see the sweet-speeched and large-hearted Vibhatsu so full of kindness and activity, return to us, having obtained all weapons? Is there a king on this earth who is more unfortunate than myself? Hast thou ever seen or heard of any such before? To my thinking, there is no man more wretched than I am.’
“Vrihadaswa said, ’O great king, O son of Pandu, thou sayest, “There is no person more miserable than I am.” O sinless monarch, if thou wilt listen, I will relate unto thee the history of a king more wretched than thyself.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “And thereupon the king said unto the ascetic, ’O illustrious one, tell me, I desire to hear the history of the king who had fallen into such a condition.’
“Vrihadaswa said, ’O king, O thou that never fallest off, listen attentively with thy brothers, I will narrate the history of a prince more miserable than thyself. There was a celebrated king among the Nishadhas, named Virasena. He had a son named Nala, versed in (the knowledge of) virtue and wealth. It hath been heard by us that, that king was deceitfully defeated by Pushkara, and afflicted with calamity, he dwelt in the woods with his spouse. And, O king, while he was living in the forest, he had neither slaves nor cars, neither brother nor friends with him. But thou art surrounded by thy heroic brothers like unto the celestials, and also by foremost regenerate ones like unto Brahma himself. Therefore, it behoveth thee not to grieve.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’I am anxious to hear in detail, O thou foremost of eloquent men, the history of the illustrious Nala. It behoveth thee therefore to relate it unto me.’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’There was a king named Nala, the son of Virasena. And he was strong, and handsome, and well-versed in (the knowledge of) horses, and possessed of every desirable accomplishment. And he was at the head of all the kings, even like the lord of the celestials. And exalted over all, he resembled the sun in glory. And he was the king of the Nishadhas, intent on the welfare of the Brahmanas, versed in the Vedas, and possessed of heroism. And he was truth-telling, fond of dice, and the master of a mighty army. And he was the beloved of men and women, and of great soul and subdued passions. And he was the protector (of all), and the foremost of bowmen, and like unto Manu himself. And like him, there was among the Vidarbhas (a king named) Bhima, of terrible prowess, heroic and well-disposed towards his subjects and possessed of every virtue. (But withal) he was childless. And with a fixed mind, he tried his utmost for obtaining issue. And, O Bharata there came unto him (once) a Brahmarshi named Damana. And, O king of kings, desirous of having offspring, Bhima, versed in morality, with his queen gratified that illustrious Rishi by a respectful reception. And Damana, well-pleased, granted unto the king and his consort a boon in the form of a jewel of a daughter, and three sons possessed of lofty souls and great fame. (And they were called respectively) Damayanti, and Dama and Dama, and illustrious Damana. And the three sons were possessed of every accomplishment and terrible mien and fierce prowess. And the slender-waisted Damayanti, in beauty and brightness, in good name and grace and luck, became celebrated all over the world. And on her attaining to age, hundreds of hand-maids, and female slaves, decked in ornaments, waited upon her like Sachi herself. And Bhima’s daughter of faultless features, decked in every ornament, shone in the midst of her hand-maids, like the luminous lightning of the clouds. And the large-eyed damsel was possessed of great beauty
“Vrihadaswa said, ’O Bharata, hearing those words of the swan, Damayanti thenceforth lost all peace of mind on account of Nala. And heaving frequent sighs she was filled with anxiety, and became melancholy and pale-faced and lean. And with her heart possessed by the god of love, she soon lost colour, and with her upturned gaze and modes of abstraction, looked like one demented. And she lost all inclination for beds and seats and object of enjoyment. And she ceased to lie down by day or night, always weeping with exclamation of Oh! and Alas! And beholding her uneasy and fallen into that condition, her hand-maids represented, O king, the matter of her illness unto the ruler of Vidarbha by indirect hints. And king Bhima, hearing of this from the handmaids of Damayanti, regarded the affair of his daughter to be serious. And he asked himself, “Why is it that my daughter seemeth to be so ill now?” And the king, reflecting by himself that his daughter had attained to puberty, concluded that Damayanti’s Swayamvara should take place. And the monarch, O exalted one, (invited) all the rulers of the earth, saying, Ye heroes, know that Damayanti’s Swayamvara is at hand. And all the kings, hearing of Damayanti’s Swayamvara, came unto Bhima, agreeable to his message, filling the earth with the clatter of their cars, the roar of their elephants, and the neighing of their horses, and accompanied with their fine-looking battalions decked in ornaments and graceful garlands. And the mighty-armed Bhima paid due reverence unto those illustrious monarchs. And duly honoured by him they took up their quarters there.
“’And at the juncture, those foremost of celestial Rishis possessed of great splendour, of great wisdom and great vows—namely, Narada and Parvata—having arrived in course of their wandering at the regions of Indra entered the mansion of the lord of the immortals, receiving proper worship. And Maghavat having worshipped them reverentially, inquired after their undisturbed peace and welfare as regards all respects. And Narada said, “O lord, O divine one, peace attendeth us in every respect. And, O Maghavat, peace attendeth also O exalted one, the kings of the whole world."’
“Vrihadaswa continued. ’Hearing the words of Narada the slaver of Vala and Vritra said, “Those righteous rulers of the earth who fight renouncing all desire of life, and who meet death when their time is come by means of weapons, without flying from the field,—theirs is this region, everlasting unto them and granting all desires, even as it is to me. Where be those Kshatriya heroes? I do not see those kings approach (now). Where are my favourite guests?” Thus addressed by Sakra, Narada replied, “Listen, O Mahaval, why seest not thou the kings (now)? The ruler of the Vidarbhas hath a daughter—the celebrated Damayanti. In beauty she transcendeth all the women of the earth. Her Swayamvara, O Sakra, will take place shortly.
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’O Bharata, Nala pledged his word to the celestials saying, “I will do it.” And then approaching these, he asked with folded hands, “Who are ye? And who also is he that desireth me to be his messenger? And what, further, shall I have to do for you? O tell me truly!”—When the king of the Nishadhas spoke thus, Maghavat replied, saying, “Know us as the immortals come hither for Damayanti’s sake. I am Indra, this one is Agni, this the lord of waters, and this, O king, is even Yama the destroyer of the bodies of men. Do thou inform Damayanti of our arrival, saying, ’The guardians of the world, (consisting of) the great Indra and the others, are coming to the assembly, desirous of beholding (the Swayamvara). The gods, Sakra and Agni and Varuna and Yama, desire to obtain thee. Do thou, therefore, choose one of them for thy lord.’” Thus addressed by Sakra, Nala said with joined hands, “I have come here with the self same object. It behoveth thee not to send me (on this errand). How can a person who is himself under the influence of love bring himself to speak thus unto a lady on behalf of others? Therefore, spare me, ye gods.” The gods, however, said, “O ruler of the Nishadhas, having promised first, saying, I will! why wilt thou not act accordingly now? O ruler of the Nishadhas, tell us this without delay."’
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Thus addressed by those celestials, the ruler of Nishadhas spake again, saying, “Those mansions are well-guarded. How can I hope to enter them?” Indra replied, “Thou shalt be able to enter.” And, saying, So be it, Nala thereupon went to the palace of Damayanti. And having arrived there, he beheld the daughter of the king of Vidarbha surrounded by her hand-maids, blazing in beauty and excelling in symmetry of form, of limbs exceedingly delicate, of slender waist and fair eyes. And she seemed to rebuke the light of the moon by her own splendour. And as he gazed on that lady of sweet smiles. Nala’s love increased, but desirous of keeping his truth, he suppressed his passion. And at the sight of Naishadha, overpowered by his effulgence, those first of women sprang up from their seats in amazement. And filled with wonder (at his sight), they praised Nala in gladness of heart. And without saying anything, they mentally paid him homage, “Oh, what comeliness! Oh, what gentleness belongeth to this high-souled one! Who is he? Is he some god or Yaksha or Gandharva?” And those foremost of women, confounded by Nala’s splendour and bashfulness would not accost him at all in speech. And Damayanti although herself struck with amazement, smilingly addressed the warlike Nala who also gently smiled at her, saying, “What art thou, O thou of faultless features, that hast come here awakening my love? O sinless one, O hero of celestial form, I am anxious to know who thou art that hast come hither. And why hast thou come hither? And how is it that thou hast not been discovered by any one, considering that my apartments are well-guarded and the king’s mandates are stern.” Thus addressed by the daughter of the king of the Vidarbhas, Nala replied, “O beauteous lady, know that my name is Nala. I come here as the messenger of the gods. The celestials, Sakra, Agni, Varuna and Yama, desire to have thee. O beautiful lady, do thou choose one of them for thy lord. It is through their power that I have entered here unperceived, and it is for this reason that none saw me on my way or obstructed my entrance. O gentle one, I have been sent by the foremost of the celestials even for this object. Hearing this, O fortunate one, do what thou pleasest."’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Damayanti, having bowed down unto the gods, thus addressed Nala with a smile, “O king, love me with proper regard, and command me what I shall do for thee. Myself and what else of wealth is mine are thine. Grant me, O exalted one, thy love in full trust. O king, the language of the swans in burning me. It is for thy sake, O hero, that I have caused the kings to meet. O giver of proper honour, if thou forsake me who adore thee, for thy sake will I resort to poison, or fire, or water or the rope.” Thus addressed by the daughter of the king of the Vidarbhas, Nala answered her saying, “With the Lokapalas present,
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Then at the sacred hour of the holy lunar day of the auspicious season, king Bhima summoned the kings to the Swayamvara. And hearing of it, all the lords of earth smit with love speedily came thither, desirous of (possessing) Damayanti. And the monarchs entered the amphitheatre decorated with golden pillars and a lofty portal arch, like mighty lions entering the mountain wilds. And those lords of earth decked with fragrant garlands and polished ear-rings hung with jewels seated themselves on their several seats. And that sacred assembly of Kings, graced by those tigers among men, resembled the Bhogavati swarming with the Nagas, or a mountain cavern with tigers. And their arms were robust, and resembling iron maces, and well-shaped, and graceful, and looking like five-headed snakes. And graced with beautiful locks and fine noses and eyes and brows, the countenance of the kings shone like stars in the firmament. And (when the time came), Damayanti of beauteous face, stealing the eyes and hearts of the princes by her dazzling light, entered the hall. And the glances of those illustrious kings were rivetted to those parts of her person where they had chanced to fall first, without moving at all. And when, O Bharata, the names of the monarchs were proclaimed, the daughter of Bhima saw five persons all alike in appearance. And beholding them seated there, without difference of any kind in form, doubt filled her mind, and she could not ascertain which of them was king Nala. And at whomsoever (among them) she looked, she regarded him to be the king of the Nishadhas. And filled with anxiety, the beautious one thought within herself, “Oh, how shall I distinguish the celestials, and how discern the royal Nala?” And thinking thus, the daughter of Vidarbha became filled with grief. And, O Bharata, recollecting the marks belonging to the celestials, of which she had heard, she thought, “Those attributes of the celestials, of which I have heard from the aged, do not pertain to any of these deities present here upon the earth.” And revolving the matter long in her mind, and reflecting upon it repeatedly, she decided upon seeking the protection of the gods themselves. And bowing down unto them with mind and speech, with folded hands, she addressed them trembling, “Since I heard the speech of the swans, I chose the king of the Nishadhas as my lord. For the sake of truth, O, let the gods reveal him to me. And as in thought or word I have never swerved from him, O, let the gods, for the sake of that truth, reveal him to me. And as the gods themselves have destined the ruler of the Nishadhas to be my lord, O, let them, for the sake of that truth, reveal him to me. And as it is for paying homage unto Nala that I have adopted this vow, for the sake of that truth, O, let the gods reveal him unto me, O, let the exalted guardians of the worlds assume
“Vrihadaswa said, ’When the blazing guardians of the worlds were returning after the daughter of Bhima had chosen Naishadha, on their way they met Dwapara with Kali approaching towards them. And seeing Kali, Sakra the slayer of Vala and Vritra, said, “O Kali, say whither thou art going with Dwapara.” And thereupon Kali replied unto Sakra, “Going to Damayanti’s Swayamvara, will I obtain her (for my wife), as my heart is fixed upon that damsel.” Hearing this, Indra said with a smile, “That Swayamvara is already ended. In our sight she hath chosen Nala for her husband.” Thus answered by Sakra, Kali, that vilest of the celestials, filled with wrath, addressing all those gods spake, “Since in the presence of the celestials she hath chosen a mortal for her lord, it is meet that she should undergo a heavy doom.” Upon hearing these words of Kali, the celestials answered, “It is with our sanction that Damayanti hath chosen Nala. What damsel is there that would not choose king Nala endued with every virtue? Well-versed in all duties, always conducting himself with rectitude, he hath studied the four Vedas together with the Puranas that are regarded as the fifth. Leading a life of harmlessness unto all creatures, he is truth-telling and firm in his vows, and in his house the gods are ever gratified by sacrifices held according to the ordinance. In that tiger among men—that king resembling a Lokapala, is truth, and forbearance, and knowledge, and asceticism, and purity and self-control, and perfect tranquillity of soul. O Kali, the fool that wisheth to curse Nala bearing such a character, curseth himself, and destroyeth himself by his own act. And, O Kali, he that seeketh to curse Nala crowned with such virtues, sinketh into the wide bottomless pit of hell rife with torments.” Having said this to Kali and Dwapara, the gods went to heaven. And when the gods had gone away, Kali said unto Dwapara, “I am ill able, O Dwapara, to suppress my anger. I shall possess Nala, deprive him of his kingdom, and he shall no more sport with Bhima’s daughter. Entering the dice, it behoveth thee to help me."’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Having made this compact with Dwapara, Kali came to the place where the king of the Nishadhas was. And always watching for a hole, he continued to dwell in the country of the Nishadhas for a long time. And it was in the twelfth year that Kali saw a hole. For one day after answering the call of nature, Naishadha touching water said his twilight prayers, without having previously washed his feet. And it was through this (omission) that Kali entered his person. And having possessed Nala, he appeared before Pushkara, and addressed him, saying, “Come and play at dice with Nala. Through my assistance thou wilt surely win at the play. And defeating king Nala and acquiring his kingdom, do thou rule the Nishadhas.” Thus exhorted by Kali, Pushkara went to Nala. And Dwapara also approached Pushkara, becoming the principal die called Vrisha. And appearing before the warlike Nala, that slayer of hostile heroes, Pushkara, repeatedly said, “Let us play together with dice.” Thus challenged in the presence of Damayanti, the lofty-minded king could not long decline it. And he accordingly fixed the time for the play. And possessed by Kali, Nala began to lose, in the game, his stakes in gold, and silver, and cars with the teams thereof, and robes. And maddened at dice, no one amongst his friends could succeed in dissuading that represser of foes from the play that went on. And thereupon, O Bharata, the citizens in a body, with the chief councillors, came thither to behold the distressed monarch and make him desist. And the charioteer coming to Damayanti spake to her of this, saying, “O lady, the citizens and officers of the state wait at the gate. Do thou inform the king of the Nishadhas that the citizens have come here, unable to bear the calamity that hath befallen their king conversant with virtue and wealth.” Thereupon Bhima’s daughter, overwhelmed with grief and almost deprived of reason by it, spake unto Nala in choked accents, “O king, the citizens with the councillors of state, urged by loyalty, stay at the gate desirous of beholding thee. It behoveth thee to grant them an interview.” But the king, possessed by Kali, uttered not a word in reply unto his queen of graceful glances, uttering thus her lamentations. And at this, those councillors of state as also the citizens, afflicted with grief and shame, returned to their homes, saying, “He liveth not.” And, O Yudhishthira, it was thus that Nala and Pushkara gambled together for many months, the virtuous Nala being always worsted.’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Bhima’s daughter, the cool-headed Damayanti, seeing the righteous king maddened and deprived of his senses at dice, was filled, O king, with alarm and grief. And she thought the affair to be a serious one with the king. And apprehensive of the calamity that threatened Nala, yet seeking his welfare and at last understanding that her lord had lost everything, she said unto her nurse and maid-servant Vrihatsena of high fame, intent upon her good, dexterous in all duties, faithful and sweet-speeched, these words, “O Vrihatsena, go thou and summon the councillors in the name of Nala, and tell them also what of wealth and other things hath been lost and what remaineth.” The councillors then, hearing of Nala’s summons, said, “This is fortunate for us” and approached the king. And when the subjects in a body had (thus) come a second time, the daughter of Bhima informed Nala of it. But the king regarded her not. Finding her husband disregarding her words, Damayanti, filled with shame, returned to her apartments. And hearing that the dice were uniformly unfavourable to the virtuous Nala, and that he had lost everything, she again spake unto her nurse, saying, “O Vrihatsena, go thou again in Nala’s name to bring hither, O blessed one, the charioteer, Varshneya. The matter at hand is very serious.” And Vrihatsena, hearing those words of Damayanti caused Varshneya to be summoned by trusty servants. And the blameless daughter of Bhima, acquainted with conduct suitable to time and place, addressing soft words said according to the occasion, “Thou knowest how the king hath always behaved towards thee. He is now in difficulty, and it behoveth thee to assist him. The more the king loseth to Pushkara, the greater becometh his ardour for the play. And as the dice fall obedient to Pushkara, it is seen that they are adverse to Nala in the matter of the play. And absorbed in the play, he heedeth not the words of his friends and relatives, nor even those of mine. I do not think, however, that in this the high-souled Naishadha is to blame, in as much as the king regarded not my words, being absorbed in play. O Charioteer, I seek thy protection. Do my behest. My mind misgiveth me. The king may come to grief. Yoking Nala’s favourite horses endued with the fleetness of the mind, do thou take these twins (my son and daughter) on the car and hie thou to Kundina. Leaving the children there with my kindred as also the car and the horses, either stay thou there, or go to any other place as it listeth thee.” Varshneya, the charioteer of Nala, then reported in detail these words of Damayanti unto the chief officers of the king. And having settled (the matter) in consultation with them, and obtaining their assent, O mighty monarch, the charioteer started for Vidarbha, taking the children on that car. And leaving there the boy Indrasena and the girl Indrasena, as also that best of cars and those steeds, the charioteer, with a sad heart grieving for Nala, bade farewell unto Bhima. And wandering for some time, he arrived at the city of Ayodhya. And there he appeared with a sorrowful heart before king Rituparna, and entered the service of that monarch as charioteer.’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’After Varshneya had gone away, Pushkara won from the righteous Nala that latter’s kingdom and what else of wealth he had. And unto Nala, O king, who had lost his kingdom, Pushkara laughingly said, “Let the play go on. But what stake hast thou now? Damayanti only remaineth; all else of thine hath been won by me. Well, if thou likest, that Damayanti be our stake now.” Hearing these words of Pushkara the virtuous king felt as if his heart would burst in rage, but he spake not a word. And gazing at Pushkara in anguish, king Nala of great fame took all the ornaments off every part of his body. And attired in a single piece of cloth, his body uncovered, renouncing all his wealth, and enhancing the grief of friends, the king set out. And Damayanti, clad in one piece of cloth, followed him behind as he was leaving the city. And coming to the outskirts of the city, Nala stayed there for three nights with his wife. But Pushkara, O king, proclaimed through the city that he that should show any attention to Nala, would be doomed to death. And on account of these words of Pushkara and knowing his malice towards Nala, the citizens, O Yudhishthira, no longer showed him hospitable regards. And unregarded though deserving of hospitable regards, Nala passed three nights in the outskirts of the city, living on water alone. And afflicted with hunger, the king went away in search of fruit and roots, Damayanti following him behind. And in agony of famine, after many days, Nala saw some birds with plumage of golden hue. And thereupon the mighty lord of the Nishadhas thought within himself, “These will be my banquet today and also my wealth.” And then he covered them with the cloth he had on—when bearing up that garment of his, the birds rose up to the sky. And beholding Nala nude and melancholy, and standing with face turned towards the ground, those rangers of the sky addressed him, saying, “O thou of small sense, we are even those dice. We had come hither wishing to take away thy cloth, for it pleased us not that thou shouldst depart even with thy cloth on.” And finding himself deprived of his attire, and knowing also that the dice were departing (with it), the virtuous Nala, O king, thus spake unto Damayanti, “O faultless one, they through whose anger I have been despoiled of my kingdom, they through whose influence distressed and afflicted with hunger, I am unable to procure sustenance, they for whom the Nishadhas offered me not any hospitality, they, O timid one, are carrying off my cloth, assuming the form of birds. Fallen into this dire disaster, I am afflicted with grief and deprived of my senses, I am thy lord, do thou, therefore, listen to the words I speak for thy good. These many roads lead to the southern country, passing by (the city of) Avanti and the Rikshavat mountains. This is that mighty mountain called Vindhya; yon, the river Payasvini running sea-wards, and yonder are
“’Nala said, “Surely, thy father’s kingdom is as my own. But thither I will not, by any means, repair in this extremity. Once I appeared there in glory, increasing thy joy. How can I go there now in misery, augmenting thy grief?"’
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Saying this again and again unto Damayanti, king Nala, wrapped in half a garment, comforted his blessed wife. And both attired in one cloth and wearied with hunger and thirst, in course of their wanderings, at last they came to a sheltered shed for travellers. And arrived at this place, the king of the Nishadhas sat down on the bare earth with the princes of Vidarbha. And wearing the same piece of cloth (with Damayanti), and dirty, and haggard, and stained with dust, he fell asleep with Damayanti on the ground in weariness. And suddenly plunged in distress, the innocent and delicate Damayanti with every mark of good fortune,
“Vrihadaswa said, ’O king, after Nala had gone away, the beauteous Damayanti, now refreshed, timorously awoke in that lonely forest. And O mighty monarch, not finding her lord Naishadha, afflicted with grief and pain, she shrieked aloud in fright, saying, “O lord? O mighty monarch! O husband, dost thou desert me? Oh, I am lost and undone, frightened in this desolate place. O illustrious prince, thou art truthful in speech, and conversant with morality. How hast thou then, having pledged thy word, deserted me asleep in the woods? Oh, why hast thou deserted thy accomplished wife, ever devoted to thee, particularly one that hath not wronged thee, though wronged thou hast been by others? O king of men, it behoveth thee to act faithfull, according to those words thou hadst spoken unto me before in the presence of the guardians of the worlds. O bull among men, that thy wife liveth even a moment after thy desertion of her, is only because mortals are decreed to die at the appointed time. O bull among men, enough of this joke! O irrepressible one, I am terribly frightened. O lord, show thyself. I see thee! I see thee, o king! Thou art seen, O Naishadha. Hiding thyself behind those shrubs, why dost thou not reply unto me? It is cruel of thee, O great king, that seeing me in this plight and so lamenting, thou dost not, O king, approach and comfort me. I grieve not for myself, nor for anything else. I only grieve to think how thou wilt pass thy days alone, O king. In the evening oppressed with hunger and thirst and fatigue, underneath the trees, how wilt it take with thee when thou seest me not?” And then Damayanti, afflicted with anguish and burning with grief, began to rush hither and thither, weeping in woe. And now the helpless princess sprang up, and now she sank down in stupor; and now she shrank in terror, and now she wept and wailed aloud. And Bhima’s daughter devoted to her husband, burning in anguish and sighing ever more, and faint and weeping exclaimed, “That being through whose imprecation the afflicted Naishadha suffereth this woe, shall bear grief that is greater than ours. May that wicked being who hath brought Nala of sinless heart this, lead a more miserable life bearing greater ills.” Thus lamenting, the crowned consort of the illustrious (king) began to seek her lord in those woods, inhabited by beasts of prey. And the daughter of Bhima, wailing bitterly, wandered hither and thither like a maniac, exclaiming, "Alas! Alas! Oh king!" And as she was wailing loudly like a female osprey, and grieving and indulging in piteous lamentations unceasingly, she came near a gigantic serpent. And that huge and hungry serpent thereupon suddenly seized Bhima’s daughter, who had come near and was moving about within its range. And folded within serpent’s coils and filled with grief, she still wept, not for herself but for Naishadha. And she said “O lord,
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Having destroyed that hunter Damayanti of eyes like lotus leaves, went onwards through that fearful and solitary forest ringing with the chirp of crickets. And it abounded with lions, and leopards, and Rurus and tigers, and buffaloes, and bears and deer. And it swarmed with birds of various species, and was infested by thieves and mlechchha tribes. And it contained Salas, and bamboos and Dhavas, and Aswatthas, and Tindukas and Ingudas, and Kinsukas, and Arjunas, and Nimvas, and Tinisas and Salmalas, and Jamvus, and mango
“’Having addressed that foremost of mountain thus, Damayanti then went in a northerly direction. And having proceeded three days and nights, that best of women came to an incomparable penance grove of ascetics, resembling in beauty a celestial grove. And the charming asylum she beheld was inhabited and adorned by ascetics like Vasishtha and Bhrigu and Atri, self-denying and strict in diet, with minds under control, endued with holiness, some living on water, some on air, and some on (fallen) leaves, with passions in check, eminently blessed, seeking the way to heaven, clad in barks of trees and deer-skins, and with senses subdued. And beholding that hermitage inhabited by ascetics, and abounding in herds of deer and monkeys, Damayanti was cheered. And that best of women, the innocent and blessed Damayanti, with graceful eye-brows, and
“’Unto Bhima’s daughter, Damayanti, lamenting forlorn in that forest, the truth-telling ascetics replied, saying, “O blessed and beauteous one, we see by ascetic power that the future will bring happiness to thee, and that thou wilt soon behold Naishadha. O daughter of Bhima, thou wilt behold Nala, the lord of the Nishadhas, the slayer of foes, and the foremost of the virtuous freed from distress. And O blessed lady, thou wilt behold the king—thy lord—freed from all sins and decked with all kinds of gems, and ruling the selfsame city, and chastising his enemies, and striking terror into the hearts of foes, and gladdening the hearts of friends, and crowned with every blessing.”
“’Having spoken unto that princess—the beloved queen of Nala—the ascetics with their sacred fires and asylum vanished from sight. And beholding that mighty wonder, the daughter-in-law of king Virasena, Damayanti of faultless limbs, was struck with amazement. And she asked herself, “Was it a dream that I saw? What an occurrence hath taken place! Where are all those ascetics? And where is that asylum? Where, further, is that delightful river of sacred waters—the resort of diverse kinds of fowls? And where, again, are those charming trees decked with fruits and flowers?” And after thinking so for some time, Bhima’s daughter, Damayanti of sweet smiles melancholy and afflicted with grief on account of her lord, lost the colour of her face (again). And going to another part of the wood, she saw an Asoka tree. And approaching that first of trees in the forest, so charming with blossoms and its load of foliage, and resounding with the notes of birds, Damayanti, with tears in her eyes and accents choked in grief, began to lament, saying, “Oh, this graceful tree in the heart of the forest, decked in flowers, looketh beautiful, like a charming king of hills. O beauteous Asoka, do thou speedily free me from grief. Hast thou seen king Nala, the slayer of foes and the beloved husband of Damayanti,—freed from fear and grief and obstacles? Hast thou seen my beloved husband, the ruler of the Nishadhas, clad in half a piece of cloth, with delicate skin, that hero afflicted with woe and who hath come into this wilderness? O Asoka tree, do thou free me from grief! O Asoka, vindicate thy name, for Asoka meaneth destroyer of grief.” And going round that tree thrice, with an afflicted heart, that best of women, Bhima’s daughter, entered a more terrible part of the forest. And wandering in quest of her lord, Bhima’s daughter beheld many trees and streams and delightful mountains, and many beasts and birds, and caves, and precipices, and many rivers of wonderful appearance. And as she proceeded she came upon a broad way where she saw with wonder a body of merchants, with their horses and elephants, landing on the banks of a river, full of clear and cool water, and lovely and charming to behold, and broad, and covered with bushes of canes,
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Having heard the words of the leader of that caravan, Damayanti of faultless limbs proceeded with that caravan itself anxious to behold her lord. And after having proceeded for many days the merchants saw a large lake fragrant with lotuses in the midst of that dense and terrible forest. And it was beautiful all over, and exceedingly delightful, (with banks) abounding in grass and fuel and fruits and flowers. And it was inhabited by various kinds of fowls and birds, and fall of water that was pure and sweet. And it was cool and capable of captivating the heart. And the caravan, worn out with toil, resolved to halt there. And with the permission of their leader, they spread themselves around those beautiful woods. And that mighty caravan finding it was evening halted at that place. And (it came to pass that) at the hour of midnight when everything was hushed and still and the tired caravan had fallen asleep, a herd of elephants in going towards a mountain stream to drink of its water befouled by their temporal juice, saw that caravan as also the numerous elephants belonging to it. And seeing their domesticated fellows the wild elephants infuriated and with the temporal juice trickling down rushed impetuously on the former, with the intention of killing them. And the force of the rush of those elephants was hard to bear, like the impetuosity of peaks lessened from mountain summits rolling towards the plain. The rushing elephants found the forest paths to be all blocked up, for the goodly caravan was sleeping obstructing the paths around that lake of lotuses. And the elephants all of a sudden, began to crush the men lying insensible on the ground. And uttering cries of “Oh!” and “Alas!” the merchants, blinded by sleep, fled, in order to escape that danger, to copses and woods for refuge. And some were slain by the tusks, and some by the trunks, and some by the legs of those elephants. And innumerable camels and horses were killed, and crowds of men on foot, running in fright, killed one another. And uttering loud cries some fell down on the ground, and some in fear climbed on trees, and some dropped down on uneven ground. And, O king, thus accidentally attacked by that large herd of elephants, that goodly caravan suffered a great loss. And there arose a tremendous uproar calculated to frighten the three worlds, “Lo! a great fire hath broken out. Rescue us. Do ye speedily fly away. Why do ye fly? Take the heaps of jewels scattered around. All this wealth is a trifle. I do not speak falsely, I tell you again, (exclaimed some one) think on my words, O ye distracted one!” With such exclamation they ran about in fright. And Damayanti awoke in fear and anxiety, while that terrible slaughter was raging there. And beholding slaughter capable of awaking the fear of all the worlds, and which was so unforeseen, the damsel of eyes like lotus leaves rose up, wild with fright, and almost out of breath. And those
“’The next day, O king, the remnant of that caravan left the place bewailing the destruction that had overtaken them and lamenting for their dead brothers and fathers and sons and friends. And the princess of Vidarbha began to lament, saying, “Alas! What misdeed have I perpetrated! The crowd of men that I obtained in this lone forest, hath been destroyed by a herd of elephants, surely as a consequence of my ill luck. Without doubt, I shall have to suffer misery for a long time. I have heard from old men that no person dieth ere his time; it is for this that my miserable self hath not been trodden to death by that herd of elephants. Nothing that befalleth men is due to anything else than Destiny, for even in my childhood I did not commit any such sin in thought, word, or deed, whence might come this calamity. Methinks, I suffer this severance from my husband through the potency of those celestial Lokapalas, who had come to the Swayamvara but whom I disregarded for the sake of Nala.” Bewailing thus, O tiger among kings, that excellent lady, Damayanti, devoted to her husband, went, oppressed
“’Unto Bhima’s daughter thus lamenting with tearful eyes, and afflicted and speaking in accents choked in grief, the queen-mother herself said, “O blessed damsel, do thou stay with me. I am well pleased with thee. O fair lady, my men shall search for thy husband. Or, perhaps he may come here of his own accord in course of his wanderings. And, O beautiful lady, residing here thou wilt regain thy (lost) lord.” Hearing these words of the queen mother, Damayanti replied, “O mother of heroes, I may stay with thee on certain conditions. I shall not eat the leavings on any dish, nor shall I wash anybody’s feet, nor shall I have to speak with other men. And if anybody shall seek me (as a wife or mistress) he should be liable to punishment at thy hands. And, further, should he solicit me over and over again, that wicked one should be punished with death. This is the vow I have made. I intend to have an interview with those Brahmanas that will set out to search for my husband. If thou canst do all this, I shall certainly live with thee. If it is otherwise, I cannot find it in my heart to reside with thee.” The queen-mother answered her with a glad heart, saying, “I will do all this. Thou hast done well in adopting such a vow!"’
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’O king, having spoken so unto the daughter of Bhima, the queen-mother, O Bharata, said to her daughter named Sunanda, “O Sunanda, accept this lady like a goddess as thy Sairindhri! Let her be thy companion, as she is of the same age with thee. Do thou, with heart free from care, always sport with her in joy.” And Sunanda cheerfully accepted Damayanti and led her to her own apartment accompanied by her associates. And treated with respect, Damayanti was satisfied, and she continued to reside there without anxiety of any kind, for all her wishes were duly gratified.’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’O monarch, having deserted Damayanti, king Nala saw a mighty conflagration that was raging in that dense forest. And in the midst of that conflagration, he heard the voice of some creature, repeatedly crying aloud, “O righteous Nala, come hither.” And answering, “Fear not,” he entered into the midst of the fire and beheld a mighty Naga lying in coils. And the Naga with joined hands, and trembling, spake unto Nala, saying, “O king, I am a snake, Karkotaka by name. I had deceived the great Rishi Narada of high ascetic merit, and by him have I been cursed in wrath, O king of men, even in words such as these: ’Stay thou here like an immobile thing, until one Nala taketh thee hence. And, indeed, on the spot to which he will carry thee, there shalt thou be freed from my curse.’ It is for that curse of his that I am unable to stir one step. I will instruct thee in respect of thy welfare. It behoveth thee to deliver me. I will be thy friend. There is no snake equal to me. I will be light in thy hands. Taking me up, do thou speedily go hence.”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’After the snake had vanished, Nala, the ruler of the Nishadhas, proceeded, and on the tenth day entered the city of Rituparna. And he approached the king, saying, “My name is Vahuka. There is no one in this world equal to me in managing steeds. My counsel also should be sought in matters of difficulty and in all affairs of skill. I also surpass others in the art of cooking. In all those arts that exist in this
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Thus addressed by the king, Nala began to dwell in the city of Rituparna, treated with respect and with Varshneya and Jivala as his companions. And residing there, the king (Nala), remembering the princess of Vidarbha, recited every evening the following sloka: “Where lieth that helpless one afflicted with hunger and thirst and worn with toil, thinking of that wretch? And upon whom also doth she now wait?” And once as the king was reciting this in the night, Jivala asked him saying, “O Vahuka, whom dost thou lament thus daily? I am curious to hear it. O thou blest with length of days, whose spouse is she whom thus lamentest?” Thus questioned, king Nala answered him, saying, “A certain person devoid of sense had a wife well-known to many. That wretch was false in his promises. For some reason that wicked person was separated from her. Separated from her, that wretch wandered about oppressed with woe, and burning with grief he resteth not by day or night. And at night, remembering her, he singeth this sloka. Having wandered over the entire world, he hath at last found a refuge, and undeserving of the distress that hath befallen him, passeth his days, thus remembering his wife. When calamity had overtaken this man, his wife followed him into the woods. Deserted by that man of little virtue, her life itself is in danger. Alone, without knowledge of ways, ill able to bear distress, and fainting with hunger and thirst, the girl can hardly protect her life. And, O friend, she hath been deserted by that man of small fortune and having little sense, with the wide and terrible forest, ever abounding in beasts of prey.”
“’Thus remembering Damayanti, the king of the Nishadhas continued to live unknown in the abode of that monarch!’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’After Nala, despoiled of his kingdom, had, with his wife, become a bondsman, Bhima with the desire of seeing Nala sent out Brahmanas to search for him. And giving them profuse wealth, Bhima enjoined on them, saying, “Do ye search for Nala, and also for my daughter Damayanti. He who achieveth this task, viz., ascertaining where the ruler of the Nishadhas is, bringeth him and my daughter hither, will obtain from me a thousand kine, and fields, and a village resembling a town.
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Having thus reflected on these various circumstances and signs, the Brahmana, Sudeva, approached Damayanti, and addressed her, saying, “O princess of Vidarbha, I am Sudeva, the dear friend of thy brother. I have come here, seeking thee, at the desire of king Bhima. Thy father is well, and also thy mother, and thy brothers. And thy son and daughter, blessed with length of days, are living in peace. Thy relatives, though alive, are almost dead on thy account, and hundreds of Brahmanas are ranging the world in search of thee."’
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’O Yudhishthira, Damayanti recognising Sudeva, asked him respecting all her relatives and kinsmen one after another. And, O monarch, oppressed with grief, the princess of Vidarbha began to weep bitterly, at the unexpected sight of Sudeva, that foremost of Brahmanas and the friend of her brother. And, O Bharata, beholding Damayanti weeping, and conversing in private with Sudeva, Sunanda was distressed, and going to her mother informed her, saying, “Sairindhri is weeping bitterly in the presence of a Brahmana. If thou likest, satisfy thyself.” And thereupon the mother of the king of the Chedis, issuing from the inner apartments of the palace, came to the place where the girl (Damayanti) was with that Brahmana. Then calling Sudeva, O king, the queen-mother asked him, “Whose wife is this fair one, and whose daughter? How hath this lady of beautiful eyes been deprived of the company of her relatives and of her husband as well? And how also hast thou come to know this lady fallen into such a plight? I wish to hear all this in detail from thee. Do truly relate unto me who am asking thee about this damsel of celestial beauty.” Then, O king, thus addressed by the queen-mother, Sudeva, that best of Brahmanas, sat at his ease, and began to relate the true history of Damayanti.’”
“’Sudeva said, “There is a virtuous and illustrious ruler of the Vidarbhas, Bhima by name. This blessed lady is his daughter, and widely known by the name of Damayanti. And there is a king ruling the Nishadhas, named Nala, the son of Virasena. This blessed lady is the wife of that wise and righteous monarch. Defeated at dice by his brother, and despoiled of his kingdom, that king, accompanied by Damayanti, went away without the knowledge of any one. We have been wandering over the whole earth in search of Damayanti. And that girl is at last found in the house of thy son. No woman existeth that is her rival in beauty. Between the eye-brows of this ever-youthful damsel, there is an excellent mole from birth, resembling a lotus. Noticed by us (before) it seems to have disappeared, covered, (as her forehead is) with (a coat of) dust even like the moon hid in clouds. Placed there by the Creator himself as an indication of prosperity and wealth, that mole is visible faintly, like the cloud-covered lunar crescent of the first day of the lighted fortnight. And covered as her body is with dust, her beauty hath not disappeared. Though careless of her person, it is still manifest, and shineth like gold. And this girl—goddess-like—capable of being identified by this form of hers and that mole, hath been discovered by me as one discovereth a fire that is covered, by its heat!”
“’O king, hearing these words of Sudeva, Sunanda washed the dust that covered the mole between Damayanti’s eye-brows. And thereupon it became visible like the moon in the sky, just emerged from the clouds. And seeing that mole, O Bharata, Sunanda and the queen-mother began to weep, and embracing Damayanti stood silent for a while. And the queen-mother, shedding tears as she spoke, said in gentle accents, “By this thy mole, I find that thou art the daughter of my sister. O beauteous girl, thy mother and I are both daughters of the high-souled Sudaman, the ruler of the Dasarnas. She was bestowed upon king Bhima, and I on Viravahu. I witnessed thy birth at our father’s palace in the country of the Dasarnas. O beautiful one, my house is to thee even as thy father’s. And this wealth, O Damayanti, is thine as much as mine.” At this, O king, Damayanti bowing down to her mother’s sister with a glad heart, spake unto her these words, “Unrecognised, I have still lived happily with thee, every want of mine satisfied and myself cared for by thee. And happy as my stay hath been, it would, without doubt, be happier still. But, mother, I have long been an exile. It behoveth thee, therefore, to grant me permission (to depart). My son and daughter, sent to my father’s palace, are living there. Deprived of their father, and of their mother also, how are they passing their days stricken with sorrow. If thou wishest to do what is agreeable to me, do thou without loss of time, order a vehicle, for I wish to go to the Vidarbhas.” At this, O king, the sister to (Damayanti’s) mother, with a glad heart, said, “So be it.” And the queen-mother with her son’s permission, O chief of the Bharatas, sent Damayanti in handsome litter carried by men, protected by a large escort and provided with food and drink and garments of the first quality. And soon enough she reached the country of the Vidarbhas. And all her relatives, rejoicing (in her arrival) received her with respect. And seeing her relatives, her children, both her parents, and all her maids, to be well, the illustrious Damayanti, O king, worshipped the gods and Brahmanas according to the superior method. And the king rejoiced at beholding his daughter, and gave unto Sudeva a thousand kine and much wealth and a village. And, O king, having spent that night at her father’s mansion and recovered from fatigue, Damayanti addressed her mother, saying, “O mother, if thou wishest me to live, I tell thee truly, do thou endeavour to bring Nala, that hero among men.” Thus addressed by Damayanti, the venerable queen became filled with sorrow. And bathed in tears, she was unable to give any answer. And beholding her in that plight, all the inmates of the inner apartments broke out into exclamation of “Oh!” And “Alas!” and began to cry bitterly. And then the queen addressed the mighty monarch Bhima, saying, “Thy daughter Damayanti mourneth on account of her husband. Nay, banishing away all bashfulness, she hath herself,
“’Thus instructed by Damayanti, O king, the Brahmanas set out in all directions in search of Nala overtaken with such disaster. And the Brahmanas, O king, searched for him in cities and kingdoms and villages, and retreats of ascetics, and places inhabited by cow-herds. And, O monarch, wherever they went they recited the speeches that Damayanti had directed them to do.’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’After a long time had passed away, a Brahmana named Parnada returned to the city (of the Vidarbhas), and said unto the daughter of Bhima, “O Damayanti, seeking Nala, the king of Nishaidhas, I came to the city of Ayodhya, and appeared before the son of Bhangasura. And, O best of women, I repeated those words of thine in the presence of the blessed Rituparna. But hearing them neither that ruler of men, nor his courtiers, answered anything, although I uttered them repeatedly. Then, after I had been dismissed by the monarch, I was accosted by a person in the service of Rituparna, named Vahuka. And Vahuka is the charioteer of
“’O king, having heard these words of Parnada, Damayanti with tearful eyes came to her mother, and spake unto her in private, “O mother, king Bhima should not, by any means, be made acquainted with my purpose. In thy presence will I employ that best of Brahmanas, Sudeva! If thou desirest my welfare, act in such a way that king Bhima may not know my purpose. Let Sudeva without delay go hence to the city of Ayodhya, for the purpose of bringing Nala, O mother, having performed the same auspicious rites by virtue of which he had speedily brought me into the midst of friends.” With these words, after Parnada had recovered from fatigue, the princess of Vidarbha worshipped him with profuse wealth and also said, “When Nala will come here, O Brahmana, I will bestow on thee wealth in abundance again. Thou hast done me the immense service which none else, indeed, can do me, for, (owing to that service of thine), O thou best of the regenerate ones, I shall speedily regain my (lost) lord.” And thus addressed by Damayanti, that high-minded Brahmana comforted her, uttering benedictory words of auspicious import, and then went home, regarding his mission to have been successful. And after he had gone away, Damayanti oppressed with grief and distress, calling Sudeva, addressed him, O Yudhishthira, in the presence of her mother, saying, “O Sudeva, go thou to the city of Ayodhya, straight as a bird, and tell king Rituparna living there, these words: ’Bhima’s daughter, Damayanti will hold another Swayamvara. All the kings and princes are going thither. Calculating the time, I find that the ceremony will take place tomorrow. O represser of foes, if it is possible for thee, go thither without delay. Tomorrow, after the sun hath risen, she will choose a second husband, as she doth not know whether the heroic Nala liveth or not.’” And addressed by her, O monarch thus, Sudeva set out. And he said unto Rituparna, all that he had been directed to say.’”
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Having heard the words of Sudeva king Rituparna, soothing Vahuka with gentle words, said, “O Vahuka, thou art well-skilled in training and guiding horses. If it pleases thee, I intend to go to Damayanti’s Swayamvara in course of a single day.” Thus addressed, O son of Kunti, by that king, Nala felt his heart to be bursting in grief. And the high-souled king seemed to burn in sorrow. And he thought within himself, “Perhaps Damayanti in doing this is blinded by sorrow. Or, perhaps, she hath conceived this magnificent scheme for my sake. Alas, cruel is the deed that the innocent princess of Vidarbha intends to do, having been deceived by my sinful and low self of little sense. It is seen in the world that the nature of woman is inconstant. My offence also hath been great; perhaps she is acting so, because she hath no longer any love for me owing to my separation from her. Indeed, that girl of slender waist, afflicted with grief on my account and with despair, will not certainly do anything of the kind, when especially, she is the mother of offspring (by me). However whether this is true or false, I shall ascertain with certitude by going thither. I will, therefore, accomplish Rituparna’s and my own purpose also.” Having resolved thus in his mind, Vahuka, with his heart in sorrow, spake unto king Rituparna, with joined hands, saying, “O monarch, I bow to thy behest, and, O tiger among men, I will go to the city of the Vidarbhas in a single day. O king!” Then, O monarch, at the command of the royal son of Bhangasura, Vahuka went to the stables and began to examine the horses. And repeatedly urged by Rituparna to make haste, Vahuka after much scrutiny and careful deliberation, selected some steeds that were lean-fleshed, yet strong and capable of a long journey and endued with energy and strength of high breed and docility, free from inauspicious marks, with wide nostrils and swelling cheeks, free from faults as regards the ten hairy curls, born in (the country of) Sindhu, and fleet as the winds. And seeing those horses, the king said somewhat angrily, “What is this, that thou wishest to do? Thou shouldst not jest with us. How can these horses of mine, weak in strength and breath, carry us? And how shall we be able to go this long way by help of these?” Vahuka replied, “Each of these horses bears one curl on his forehead, two on his temples, four on his sides, four on his chest, and one on his back. Without doubt, these steeds will be able to go to the country of the Vidarbhas. If, O king, thou thinkest of choosing others, point them out and I shall yoke them for thee.” Rituparna rejoined, “O Vahuka, thou art versed in the science of horses and art also skillful (in guiding them). Do thou speedily yoke those that thou thinkest to be able.” Thereupon the skillful Nala yoked upon the car four excellent steeds of good breed that were, besides, docile and fleet.
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Like a bird coursing through the sky, Nala soon crossed rivers and mountains, and woods and lakes. And while the car was coursing thus, that conqueror of hostile cities, the royal son of Bhangasura, saw his upper garment drop down on the ground. And at soon as his garment had dropped down the high-minded monarch, without loss of time, told Nala, “I intend to recover it. O thou of profound intelligence, retain these steeds endued with exceeding swiftness until Varshneya bringeth back my garment.” Thereupon Nala replied unto him, “The sheet is dropped down far away. We have travelled one yojana thence. Therefore, it is incapable of being recovered.” After
“Vrinadaswa said, ’After Rituparna of prowess incapable of being baffled had, in the evening, arrived at the city of the Vidarbhas, the people brought unto king Bhima the tidings (of his arrival). And at the invitation of Bhima, the king (of Ayodhya) entered the city of Kundina, filling with the rattle of his car all the ten points, direct and transverse, of the horizon. And the steeds of Nala that were in that city heard that sound, and hearing it they became delighted as they used to be in the presence of Nala himself. And Damayanti also heard the sound of that car driven by Nala, like the deep roar of the clouds in the rainy season. And Bhima
“’Thus bewailing as if devoid of sense, Damayanti, O Bharata, ascended the terrace (of her mansion) with the desire of seeing the righteous Nala. And in the yard of the central mansion she beheld king Rituparna on the car with Varshneya and Vahuka. And Varshneya and Vahuka, descending for that excellent vehicle, unyoked the steeds, and kept the vehicle itself in a proper place. And king Rituparna also, descending from the car, presented himself before king Bhima possessed of terrible prowess. And Bhima received him with great respect, for in the absence of a proper occasion, a great person cannot be had (as a guest). And honoured by Bhima, king Rituparna looked about him again and again, but saw no traces of the Swayamvara. And the ruler of the Vidarbhas, O Bharata, approaching Rituparna, said, “Welcome! What is the occasion of this thy visit?” And king Bhima asked this without knowing that Rituparna had come to obtain the hand of his daughter. And king Rituparna, of unbaffled prowess and gifted with intelligence, saw that there were no other kings or princes. Nor did he hear any talk relating to the Swayamvara, nor saw any concourse of Brahmanas. And at this, the king of Kosala reflected a while and at length said, “I have come here to pay my respects to thee.” And the king Bhima was struck with astonishment, and reflected upon the (probable) cause of Rituparna’s
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’And, O king, after Rituparna had gone away with Varshneya, Vahuka took the car to the stables. And there freeing the steeds, and tending them according to rule, and soothing them himself, sat down on a side of the car. Meanwhile, the princess of Vidharva, Damayanti, afflicted with grief, having beheld the royal son of Bhangasura, and Varshneya of the Suta race, and also Vahuka in that guise, asked herself, “Whose is this car-rattle? It was loud as that of Nala, but I do not see the ruler of the Nishadhas. Certainly, Varshneya hath learnt the art from Nala, and it is for this the rattle of the car driven by him hath been even like that of Nala. Or, is Rituparna equally skilled with Nala so that the rattle of his car seemeth to be like that of Nala?” And reflecting thus, O monarch, the blessed and beauteous girl sent a female messenger in search of Nishada.’”
“’Damayanti said, “O Kesini, go thou and learn who that charioteer is that sitteth by the car, unsightly and possessed of short arms. O blessed one, O faultless one, approaching him, cautiously and with suit words, make thou the usual inquiries of courtesy and learn all particulars truly. Having regard to the feeling of satisfaction my mind experienceth, and the delight my heart feeleth, I am greatly afraid this one is king Nala himself. And, O faultless one, having inquired after his welfare, thou shalt speak unto him the words of Parnada. And, O beauteous one, understand the reply he may make thereto.” Thus instructed, that female messenger, going cautiously, while the blessed Damayanti watched from the terrace, addressed Vahuka in these words, “O foremost of men, thou art welcome. I wish thee happiness. O bull among men, hear now the words of Damayanti. When did ye all set out, and with what object have ye come hither. Tell us truly, for the princess of Vidarbha wisheth to hear it.” Thus addressed, Vahuka answered, “the illustrious king of Kosala had heard from a Brahmana that a second Swayamvara of Damayanti would take place. And hearing it, he hath come here, by the help of excellent steeds fleet as the wind and capable of going a hundred yojanas. I am his charioteer.” Kesini then asked,
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’O son of the Kuru race, hearing these words of Kesini, Nala’s heart was pained, and his eyes filled with tears. And repressing his sorrow, the king who was burning in grief, said again these words, in accents choked with tears: “Chaste women, though overtaken by calamity, yet protect themselves, and thereby secure heaven. Women that are chaste, deserted by their lords, never become angry, but continue to live, cased in virtue’s mail. Deserted by one fallen into calamity, bereft of sense, and despoiled of bliss, it behoveth her not to be angry. A virtuous lady should not be angry with one that was deprived by birds of his garment while striving to procure sustenance and who is burning in misery. Whether treated well or ill she would never be angry, seeing her husband in that plight, despoiled of his kingdom, bereft of prosperity, oppressed with hunger, and overwhelmed with calamity.” And, O Bharata, while speaking thus, Nala oppressed with grief, could not restrain his tears, but began to weep. And thereupon Kesini went back to Damayanti, and acquainted her with everything about that conversation as well as that outburst of grief.’”
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Hearing everything, Damayanti became oppressed with grief, and suspecting the person to be Nala, said unto Kesini, “O Kesini, go thou again, and examine Vahuka, and staying in silence at his side mark thou his conduct. And, O beauteous one, whenever he happens to do anything skilful, do thou observe well his act while accomplishing it. And, O Kesini, whenever he may ask water or fire, with the view of offering him obstruction, thou shalt be in no hurry to give it. And marking everything about his behaviour, come thou and tell me. And whatever human or super-human thou seest in Vahuka, together with anything else, should all be reported unto me.” And thus addressed by Damayanti, Kesini went away, and having marked the conduct of that person versed in horse-lore, she came back. And she related unto Damayanti all that had happened, indeed, everything of human and superhuman that she had witnessed in Vahuka. And Kesini said, “O Damayanti, a person of such control over the elements I have never before seen or heard of. Whenever he cometh to low passage, he never stoopeth down, but seeing him, the passage itself groweth in height so that he may pass through it easily. And at his approach, impassable narrow holes open wide. King Bhima had sent various kinds of meat—of diverse animals, for Rituparna’s food. And many vessels had been placed there for washing the meat. And as he looked upon them, those vessels became filled (with water). And having washed the meat, as he set himself to cook, he took up a handful of grass and held it in the sun, when fire blazed up all on a sudden. Beholding this marvel, I have come hither amazed. Further, I have witnessed in him another great wonder. O beauteous one, he touched fire and was not burnt. And at his will, water falling floweth in a stream. And, I have witnessed another greater wonder still. He took up some flowers, began to press them slowly with his hands. And pressed by his hand, the flowers did not lose their original forms, but, on the contrary, became gayer and more odorous than before. Having beheld wonderful things I have come hither with speed."’
“Vrihadaswa continued, ’Hearing of these acts of the virtuous Nala, and discovering him from his behaviour, Damayanti considered him as already recovered. And from these indications suspecting that Vahuka was her husband, Damayanti once more weepingly addressed Kesini in soft words, saying, “O beauteous one, go thou once more, and bring from the kitchen without Vahuka’s knowledge some meat that hath been boiled and dressed (by him).” Thus commanded, Kesini, ever bent on doing what was agreeable to Damayanti, went to Vahuka, and taking some hot meat came back without loss of time. And Kesini gave that meat, O son of the Kuru race, unto Damayanti. And Damayanti who had formerly often partaken of meat dressed by Nala, tasted the meat that was brought
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Beholding the agitation of the virtuous and wise Nala, Kesini returned unto Damayanti and related everything unto her. And thereupon Damayanti with a sorrowful heart and eager to behold Nala, again despatched Kesini to her mother, asking her to say on her behalf: “Suspecting Vahuka to be Nala, I have tried him in various ways. My doubt now only relates to his appearance. I intend to examine him myself. O mother, either let him enter the palace, or give me permission to go to him. And arrange this with the knowledge of my father or without it.” And thus addressed to Damayanti, that lady communicated unto Bhima the intention of his daughter, and upon learning it the king gave his consent. And, O bull of the Bharata race, having obtained the consent both of her father and mother, Damayanti caused Nala to be brought to her apartments. And as soon as he saw Damayanti unexpectedly, king Nala was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, and bathed in tears. And that best of women, Damayanti, also, upon beholding king Nala in that condition, was sorely afflicted with grief. And, O monarch, herself clad in a piece of red cloth, and wearing matted locks, and covered with dirt and dust, Damayanti then addressed Vahuka, saying, “O Vahuka, hast thou ever seen any person acquainted with duty, who hath gone away, deserting his sleeping wife in the forest? Who, except the virtuous Nala, could go away, deserting in the woods, his dear and unoffending wife overcome with fatigue? Of what offence was I guilty in the eyes of that monarch since my early youth that he should go away deserting me in the woods while asleep overcome with fatigue? Why should he whom I formerly chose in preference to the gods themselves abandon his ever-devoted and loving wife who had become the mother also of his children? Before the fire, and in presence also of the celestials, he had taken my hand, vowing, ‘Verily I will be thine.’ Oh, where was that vow when he deserted me. O represser of foes.” While Damayanti was saying all this, tears of sorrow
“Vrihadaswa said, ’Having passed that night, king Nala decked in ornaments and with Damayanti by his side, presented himself in due time before the king. And Nala saluted his father-in-law with becoming humility and after him the fair Damayanti paid her respects to her father. And the exalted Bhima, with great joy, received him as a son, and honouring him duly along with his devoted wife, comforted them in proper words. And duly accepting the homage rendered unto him, king Nala offered his father-in-law his services as became him. And seeing Nala arrived, the citizens were in great joy. And there arose in the city a loud uproar of delight. And the citizens decorated the city with flags and standards and garlands of flowers. And the streets were watered and decked in floral wreaths and other ornaments. And at their gates citizens piled flowers, and their
“Vrihadaswa said, ’O son of Kunti, the ruler of the Nishadhas having dwelt there for a month, set out from that city with Bhima’s permission and accompanied by only a few (followers) for the country of the Nishadhas. With a single car white in hue, sixteen elephants, fifty horses, and six hundred infantry, that illustrious king, causing the earth itself to tremble, entered (the country of the Nishadhas) without loss of a moment and swelling with rage. And the mighty son of Virasena, approaching his brother Pushkara said unto him, “We will play again, for I have earned vast wealth. Let Damayanti and all else that I have be my stake, let, O Pushkara, thy kingdom be thy stake. Let the play begin again. This is my certain determination. Blessed be thou, let us stake all we have along with our lives. Having won over and acquired another’s wealth or kingdom, it is a high duty, says the ordinance, to stake it when the owner demands. Or, if thou dost not relish play with dice, let the play with weapons begin. O king, let me or thyself have peace by a single combat. That this ancestral kingdom should, under all circumstances and by any
“’And Nala of unbaffled prowess, having comforted his brother thus gave him permission to go to his own town, having embraced him repeatedly. And Pushkara himself, thus comforted by the ruler of the Nishadhas saluted that righteous king, and addressed him, O monarch, saying these words with joined hands, “Let thy fame be immortal and live thou happily for ten thousand years, thou who grantest me, O king, both life and refuge.” And entertained by the king, Pushkara dwelt there for a month and then went to his own town accompanied by large force and many obedient servants and his own kindred, his heart filled with joy. And that bull among men all the while blazed forth in beauty of person like
“Vrihadaswa said, ’After the festivities had commenced in the city that was full of joy and without anxiety of any kind, the king with a large force brought Damayanti (from her father’s home). And her father, too, that slayer of hostile heroes, Bhima of terrible prowess and immeasurable soul, sent his daughter, having honoured her duly. And upon the arrival of the princess of Vidarbha accompanied by her son and daughter, king Nala began to pass his days in joy like the chief of the celestials in the gardens of Nandana. And the king of undying fame, having regained his kingdom and becoming illustrious among monarchs of the island of Jamvu, began once more to rule it. And he duly performed numerous sacrifices with abundant gifts to Brahmanas. O great king, thou also wilt with thy kindred and relatives, so blaze forth in effulgence soon. For, O foremost of men, it was thus that subjugator of hostile cities, king Nala, had fallen into distress along with his wife, in consequence, O bull of Bharata race, of dice. And, O lord of the earth, Nala suffered such dire woe all alone and recovered his prosperity, whereas thou, O son of Pandu, with heart fixed on virtue, art sporting in joy in this great forest, accompanied by thy brothers and Krishna. When thou art also, O monarch, mixing daily with blessed Brahmanas versed in the Vedas and their branches, thou hast little cause for sorrow. This history, besides, of the Naga Karkotaka, of Damayanti, of Nala and of that royal sage Rituparna, is destructive of evil. And, O thou of unfading glory, this history, destructive of the influence of Kali, is capable, O king, of comforting persons like thee when they listen to it. And reflecting upon the uncertainty (of success) of human exertion, it behoveth thee not to joy or grieve at prosperity or adversity. Having listened to this history, be comforted, O king, and yield not to grief. It behoveth thee not, O great king, to pine under calamity. Indeed, men of self-possession, reflecting upon the caprice of destiny and the fruitlessness of exertion, never suffer themselves to be depressed. They that will repeatedly recite this noble history of Nala, and that will hear it recited, will never be touched by adversity. He that listeneth to this old and excellent history hath all his purposes crowned with success and, without doubt, obtaineth fame, besides sons and grandsons and animals, a high position among men, and health, and joy. And, O king, the fear also that thou entertainest, viz., (Some one skilled in dice will summon me), I will for once dispel. O thou of invincible prowess, I know the science of dice in its entirety. I am gratified with thee; take this lore, O son of Kunti, I will tell unto thee.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “King Yudhishthira then, with a glad heart, said unto Vrihadaswa, ’O illustrious one, I desire to learn the science of dice from thee.’ The Rishi then gave his dice-lore unto the high-souled son of Pandu, and having given it unto him, that great ascetic went to the sacred waters of Hayasirsha for a bath.
“And after Vrihadaswa had gone away, Yudhishthira of firm vows heard from Brahmanas and ascetics that came to him from various directions and from places of pilgrimage and mountains and forests that Arjuna of high intelligence and capable of drawing the bow with his left hand, was still engaged in the austerest of ascetic penances, living upon air alone. And he heard that the mighty-armed Partha was engaged in such fierce asceticism that none else before him had ever been engaged in such penances. And Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, engaged in ascetic austerities with regulated vows and fixed mind and observing the vow of perfect silence, was, he heard, like the blazing god of justice himself in his embodied form. And, O king, (Yudhishthira) the son of Pandu hearing that his dear brother Jaya, the son of Kunti, was engaged in such asceticism in the great forest, began to grieve for him. And with a heart burning in grief, the eldest son of Pandu, seeking consolation in that mighty forest held converse with the Brahmanas possessed of various knowledge who were living with him there.”
Janamejaya said, “O holy one, after my great-grandfather Partha had gone away from the woods of Kamyaka, what did the sons of Pandu do in the absence of that hero capable of drawing the bow with his left hand? It seemeth to me that mighty bowman and vanquisher of armies was their refuge, as Vishnu of the celestials. How did my heroic grandsires pass their time in the forest, deprived of the company of that hero, who resembled Indra himself in prowess and never turned his back in battle?”
Vaisampayana said, “After Arjuna of unbaffled prowess had gone away from Kamyaka, the sons of Pandu, O son, were filled with sorrow and grief. And the Pandavas with cheerless hearts very much resembled pearls unstrung from a wreath, or birds shorn of their wings. And without that hero of white steeds that forest looked like the Chaitraratha woods when deprived of the presence of Kuvera. And, O Janamejaya, those tigers among men—the sons of Pandu—deprived of the company of Arjuna, continued to live in Kamyaka in perfect cheerlessness. And, O chief of the Bharata race, those mighty warriors endowed with great prowess slew with pure arrows various kinds of sacrificial animals for the Brahmanas. And those tigers among men and repressers of foes, daily slaying those wild animals and sanctifying them properly, offered them unto the Brahmanas. And it was thus, O king, that those bulls among men afflicted with sorrow lived there with cheerless hearts after
“After Bhima had concluded, Nakula the son of Pandu, with voice choked with tears, said, ’Without him whose extraordinary deeds on the field of battle constitute the talk of even the gods, without that foremost of warriors, what pleasure can we have in the woods? Without him who having gone towards the north had vanquished mighty Gandharva chiefs by hundreds, and who having obtained numberless handsome horses of the Tittiri and Kalmasha species all endowed with the speed of the wind, presented them from affection unto his brother the king, on the occasion of the great Rajasuya sacrifice, without that dear and illustrious one, without that terrible warrior born after Bhima, without that hero equal unto a god I do not desire to live in the Kamyaka woods any longer.’
“After Nakula’s lamentations, Sahadeva said, ’He who having vanquished mighty warriors in battle won wealth and virgins and brought them unto the king on the occasion of the great Rajasuya sacrifice, that hero of immeasurable splendour who having vanquished single-handed the assembled Yadavas in battle, ravished Subhadra with the consent of Vasudeva, he, who having invaded the dominion of the illustrious Drupada gave, O Bharata, unto the preceptor Drona his tuition fee—beholding, O king, that Jishnu’s bed of grass empty in our asylum, my heart refuses consolation. A migration from this forest is what, O represser of foes, I would prefer for without that hero this forest cannot be delightful.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing these words of his brothers as also of Krishna, all of whom were anxious on account of Dhananjaya, king Yudhishthira, the just, became melancholy. And at that time he saw (before him) the celestial Rishi Narada blazing with Brahmi beauty and like unto a fire flaming up in consequence of sacrificial libation. And beholding him come, king Yudhishthira with his brothers stood up and duly worshipped the illustrious one. And endued with blazing energy, the handsome chief of the Kuru race, surrounded by his brothers, shone like the god of a hundred sacrifices encircled by the celestials. And Yajnaseni in obedience to the dictates of morality adhered to her lords, the sons of Pritha, like Savitri to the Vedas or the rays of the Sun to the peak of Meru. And the illustrious Rishi Narada, accepting that worship, comforted the son of Dharma in proper terms. And, O sinless one, addressing the high-souled king Yudhishthira, the just, the Rishi said, ’Tell me, O foremost of virtuous men, what it is that thou seekest and what I can do for thee.’ At this, the royal son of Dharma bowing with his brothers unto Narada, who was the revered of the celestials, told him with joined hands, ’O thou that art highly blessed and worshipped by all the worlds when thou art gratified with me, I regard all my wishes in consequence of thy grace, as already fulfilled, O thou of excellent vows! If, O sinless one, I with my brothers deserve thy favour, it behoveth thee, O best of Munis, to dispel the doubt that is in my mind. It behoveth thee to tell me in detail what merit is his that goeth round the worlds, desirous of beholding the sacred waters and shrines that are on it.’
“Narada said, ’Listen, O king, with attention, to what the intelligent Bhishma had heard before from Pulastya! Once, O blessed one, that foremost of virtuous men, Bhishma, while in the observance of the Pitrya vow, lived, O king, in the company of Munis in a delightful and sacred region, near the source of the Ganga, that is resorted to by the celestial Rishis and Gandharvas and the celestials themselves. And while living there, the resplendent one gratified with his oblations the Pitris, the gods and the Rishis, according to the rites inculcated in the scriptures. And once on a time while the illustrious one was engaged in his silent recitations, he beheld Pulastya—that best of Rishis, of wonderful appearance. And beholding that austere ascetic blazing with beauty, he was filled with great delight and exceeding wonder. And, O Bharata, that foremost of virtuous men, Bhishma, then worshipped that blessed Rishi according to the rites of the ordinance. And purifying himself and with rapt attention, he approached that best of Brahmarshis, with the Arghya on his head. And uttering aloud his name, he said, “O thou of excellent vow, blessed be thou, I am Bhishma, thy slave. At sight of thee, I am freed from all my sins.” And saying this, that foremost of virtuous men, Bhishma, restraining speeches stood, O Yudhishthira, in silence and with joined hands. And beholding Bhishma that foremost of the Kurus, reduced and emaciated by the observance of vows and the study of the Vedas, the Muni became filled with joy.’”
“’Pulastya said, “O thou of excellent vows, I have been much gratified with thy humility, thy self-control, and thy truth, thou blessed one versed in morality! O sinless one, it is for this virtue of thine which thou hast acquired from regard to thy ancestors, that I have been gratified with thee and thou hast, O son, obtained a sight of my person. O Bhishma. my eyes can penetrate into everything. Tell me what I may do for thee. O sinless one, O thou foremost of the Kuru race, I will grant thee whatever thou mayst ask me.”
“’Bhishma said, “O highly blessed one, when thou who art worshipped by the three worlds hast been gratified with me and when I have obtained a sight of thy exalted self, I regard myself as already crowned with success. But, O thou foremost of virtuous persons, if I have deserved thy favour, I will tell thee my doubts and it behoveth thee to dispel them, O holy one, I have some religious doubts in respect of tirthas. Speak of those to me in detail, I desire to hear thee. O thou that resemblest a celestial himself, what is his merit, O regenerate Rishi, who goeth round the whole earth (visiting shrines). O tell me this with certainty.”
“’Pulastya said, “O son, listen with attention. I will tell thee of the merit which attacheth to tirthas and which constituteth the refuge of the Rishis. He whose hands and feet and mind and knowledge and asceticism and acts are under wholesome control, enjoyeth the fruits of tirthas. He who has ceased to accept gifts, he that is contented, he that is free from pride enjoys the fruits of tirthas. He that is without sin, he that acts without purpose, he that eats light, he that has his senses under control, he that is free from every sin, enjoys the fruits of tirthas. O king, he that is free from anger, he that adhereth to truth, he that is firm in vows, he that regardeth all creatures as his own self, enjoyeth the fruits of tirthas. In the Vedas the Rishis have declared in due order the sacrifices and also their fruits here and hereafter truly. O lord of earth, those sacrifices cannot be accomplished by him that is poor, for those sacrifices require various materials and diverse things in large measures. These, therefore can be performed by kings or sometimes by other men of prosperity and wealth. O lord of men, that rite, however, which men without wealth, without allies, singly, without wife and children, and destitute of means, are capable of accomplishing and the merit of which is equal unto the sacred fruits of sacrifices, I will now declare unto thee, thou best of warriors! O thou best of the Bharata race, sojourns in tirthas which are meritorious and which constitute one of the high mysteries of the Rishis, are even superior to sacrifices. He is a poor man who having gone to a tirtha hath not fasted for three nights, who hath not given away gold, and who hath not distributed
“’"Men of self-control, by even thinking mentally of Pushkara, are cleansed from their sins, and regarded in heaven. O king, the illustrious grand-sire having the lotus for his seat, had dwelt with great pleasure in this tirtha. O blessed one, it was in Pushkara that the gods with the Rishis having acquired of old great merit, finally obtained the highest success. The person who, devoted to the worship of the gods and the Pitris, batheth in this tirtha, obtaineth, it hath been said by the wise, merit that is equal to ten times that of the horse-sacrifice. Having gone to the Pushkara woods, he that feedeth even one Brahmana, becometh happy here and hereafter, O Bhishma, for that act. He that supporteth himself on vegetables and roots and fruits, may with pious regard and without disrespect, give even such fare to a Brahmana. And, O best of kings, the man of wisdom, even by such a gift, will acquire the merit of a horse-sacrifice. Those illustrious persons among Brahmanas or Kshatriyas or Vaisyas or Sudras that bathe in Pushkara are freed from the obligation of rebirth. That man in special who visits Pushkara on the full moon of the month of Karttika, acquireth ever-lasting regions in the abode of Brahma. He that thinketh with joined hands morning and evening, of the Pushkara, practically batheth, O Bharata, in every tirtha. Whether a male or a female, whatever sins one may commit since birth, are all destroyed as soon as one batheth in Pushkara. As the slayer of Madhu is the foremost of all the celestials, so is Pushkara, O king, the foremost of all tirthas. A man by residing with purity and regulated vows for twelve years in Pushkara, acquireth the merit of all the sacrifices, and goeth to the abode of Brahma. The merit of one who performeth the Agnihotra for full one hundred years, is equal to that of him who resideth for the single month of Karttika in Pushkara. There are three white hillocks and three springs known from the remotest times, we do not know why, by the name of the Pushkara. It is difficult to go to Pushkara; it is difficult to undergo ascetic austerities at Pushkara; it is difficult to give away at Pushkara; and it is difficult to live at Pushkara.
“’"Having dwelt for twelve nights at Pushkara with regulated diet and vows, and having walked round (the place), one must go to Jamvu-marga. One that goeth to Jamvu-marga which is resorted to by the celestials, the Rishis, and the Pitris, acquireth the merit of the horse-sacrifice and the fruition of all his wishes. The man that resideth there for five nights, hath his soul cleansed from all sins. He never sinketh into hell, but acquireth high success. Leaving Jamvu-marga one must go to Tandulikasrama. He that goeth there never sinketh into hell but ascendeth to the abode of Brahma. He that goeth to the lake of Agastya and occupieth himself with the worship of the Pitris and celestials, fasting for three nights, acquireth, O king, the fruit of the Agnishtoma. Going thither, he that liveth on vegetables or fruits acquireth the status called Kaumara. One should next proceed to the beautiful asylum of Kanwa, which is worshipped by the whole world. That sacred wood characterised by holiness, existeth, O bull of the Bharata race, from very remote times. As soon as one entereth it, he is freed from all his sins. He who with regulated diet and vows worshippeth the Pitris and the gods there, obtaineth the fruit of a sacrifice that is capable of bestowing the fruition of all one’s desires. Having walked round this asylum one must then go to the spot where Yayati fell (from heaven). He that goeth thither, acquireth the merit of a horse-sacrifice. One must then go to Mahakala with regulated diet and senses subdued. And having bathed in the tirtha called Koti, one obtaineth the merit of a horse-sacrifice. A virtuous man should next proceed to the tirtha of Sthanu, the husband of Uma, known over the three worlds by the name of Bhadravata. That best of men who goeth to Bhadravata, beholdeth Isana and obtaineth the fruit of a gift of a thousand kine. And through the grace of Mahadeva, he acquireth the status of Ganapatya blessed with prosperity and peace and high grace. Having arrived then at the Narmada, that river celebrated over the three worlds, and given oblations of water to the Pitris and the gods, one acquireth the fruit of the horse-sacrifice. He that goeth into the Southern ocean, practising the Brahmacharya mode of life, and with senses subdued, acquireth the fruit of the Agnishtoma sacrifice and ascendeth to heaven. Having arrived at Charmanwati, with regulated diet and senses subdued, one acquireth, at the command of Ramideva, the merit of the Agnishtoma sacrifice. One must then go, O virtuous chief of warriors, to Arauda, the son of Himavat, where there was a hole through the earth in days of yore. There is the asylum of Vasistha, celebrated over the three worlds. Having resided for one night, one obtaineth the merit of the gift of a thousand kine. He that, leading a Brahmacharya mode of
“’Pulastya said, “One should next proceed, O king, to the adored Kurukshetra at sight of which all creatures are freed from their sins. He is freed from all sins who constantly sayeth, ’I will live in Kurukshetra.’ The very dust of Kurukshetra, conveyed by the wind, leadeth a sinful man to a blessed course (in after-life). They that dwell in Kurukshetra which lieth to the south of the Saraswati and the north of the Drishadwati,
“’Pulastya said, “Then, O great king, one should proceed to the excellent tirtha of Dharma, where the illustrious god of justice had practised highly meritorious austerities. And it is for this that he made the spot a sacred tirtha and rendered it celebrated by his own name. Bathing there, O king, a virtuous man with concentrated soul certainly sanctifieth his family to the seventh generation. One should then repair, O king, to the excellent Jnanapavana. Sojourning thither, one obtaineth the merit of the Agnishtoma sacrifice, and goeth to the region of the Munis.
“’Pulastya said, “Arriving next at the excellent tirtha called Samvedya in the evening, and touching its waters, one surely obtaineth knowledge. Created a tirtha in days of yore by Rama’s energy, he that proceedeth to Lauhitya obtaineth the merit of giving away gold in abundance. Proceeding next to the river Karatoya, and fasting there for three nights, a man acquireth the merit of the horse-sacrifice. Even this is the injunction of the Creator himself. It hath been said by the wise, O king, that if a person goeth to the spot where the Ganga mingleth with the sea, he reapeth merit which is ten times that of the horse-sacrifice. Crossing over to the opposite bank of the Ganga, he that batheth there having resided for three nights is, O king, cleansed from all his sins. One should next proceed to the Vaitarani capable of destroying every sin. Arriving next at the tirtha named Viraja one shineth like the moon, and sanctifying his race rescueth it and is himself cleansed of all his sins. He that bathes in Viraja further reapeth the merit of giving away a thousand kine besides sanctifying his line. Residing with purity at the confluence of the Sona and the Jyotirathi, and offering oblations of water to the gods and the Pitris, a man reapeth the merit of the Agnishtoma sacrifice. Touching next the waters of the Vansagulma constituting the sources of both the Sona and the Narmada, one obtaineth the merit of the horse-sacrifice. Sojourning next to the tirtha called Rishabha in Kosala, O lord of men, and fasting there for three nights one earneth the merit of the Vajapeya sacrifice, and of the gift of a thousand kine, and also delivereth his race. Arriving at Kosala, a man should bathe in the tirtha named Kala. By this one surely obtaineth the merit of giving away one and ten bulls. By bathing in Pushpavati and fasting there, O king, for three nights one sanctifieth his own race, besides earning the merit of the gift of a thousand kine. Then, O foremost of the Bharata race, by bathing in the tirtha called Vadarika, one obtaineth long life, and also goeth to heaven. Arriving next at Champa, and bathing in the Bhagirathi, and seeing Danda one earneth
“’"Proceeding next to the mountain Rishabha in Pandya, worshipped by the gods, one obtains the merit of the Vajapeya sacrifice and rejoices in heaven. One should next proceed to the river Kaveri, frequented by Apsaras. Bathing there, O monarch, one obtaineth the merit of giving away a thousand kine. Touching next the waters of the tirtha called Kanya on the shores of the sea one is cleansed from every sin. Proceeding next to Gokarna celebrated over the three worlds, and which is situate, O best of kings, in the midst of the deep, and is reverenced by all the worlds, and where the gods headed by Brahma, and Rishis endued with wealth of asceticism, and spirits and Yakshas and Pisachas, and Kinnaras and the great Nagas, and Siddhas and Charanas and Gandharvas, and men and Pannagas, and rivers, Seas and Mountains, worship the lord of Uma, one should worship Isana, fasting there for three nights. By this, one acquireth the merit of the horse-sacrifice, and the status of Ganapatya. By staying there for twelve nights, one’s soul is cleansed of all sins. One should next proceed to the tirtha known as Gayatri celebrated over the three worlds. Staying there for three nights, one acquireth the merit of giving away a thousand kine. A strange phenomenon is seen to occur there in respect to Brahmanas, O Lord of men! If a Brahmana, whether born of a Brahmani or any other woman, reciteth the Gayatri there, the recitation becomes rhythmic and musical, while, O king, a person who is not a Brahmana cannot adequately hymn it at all. Proceeding next to the inaccessible tank of the Brahmana Rishi Samvarta, one acquireth personal beauty and prosperity. Repairing next to Vena, he that offers oblations of water to the gods and the Pitris, obtains a car drawn by peacocks and cranes. Going next to the Godavari, ever frequented
“’"This truthful description (of the tirthas) one should recite only unto the regenerate ones, unto those that are pious, unto one’s son and friends and disciples and dependents. This narrative, without a rival, is blessed and holy and leadeth to heaven. Holy and entertaining and sanctifying, it is productive of merit and high worth. Destructive of every sin, it is a mystery that the great Rishis cherish with care. By reciting it in the midst of Brahmanas, one is cleansed of every sin, and ascends to heaven. This description of tirthas is auspicious and heaven-giving and sacred; ever blessed as it is, it destroys one’s enemies; foremost of all accounts, it sharpens the intellect. By reading this narrative the sonless obtains sons, the destitute obtains riches, a person of the royal order conquereth the whole earth, the Vaisya cometh by wealth, the Sudra obtaineth all his desires, and the Brahmana crosseth the ocean (of the world). Purifying himself, he that listens daily to the merits of the different tirthas, recollects the incidents of many previous births and rejoices in heaven. Of the tirthas that have been recited here, some are easily accessible, while others are difficult of access. But he that is inspired with the desire of beholding all tirthas, should visit them even in imagination. Desirous of obtaining merit, the Vasus, and the Sadhyas, the Adityas, the Maruts, the Aswins, and the Rishis equal unto celestials, all bathed in these tirthas. Do thou also, O thou of the Kuru race, observing the ordinance as explained by me, visit, with subdued senses, these tirthas, increasing thy merit, O thou of excellent vows. Men of piety and learning are able to visit these tirthas, by reason of their purified senses, their belief in Godhead, and
“Narada continued, ’Having cheerfully spoken thus, the illustrious Rishi Pulastya, well-pleased, bidding Bhishma farewell, disappeared there and then. And Bhishma also, O tiger among men, well understanding the true import of the Shastras, wandered over the world at the command of Pulastya. Thus, O thou blessed one, did Bhishma end at Prayaga his highly meritorious journey to the tirthas capable of destroying all sins. The man that ranges the earth in accordance with these injunctions, obtains the highest fruit of a hundred horse-sacrifices and earns salvation hereafter. Thou wilt, O son of Pritha, obtain merit consisting of the eight attributes, even like that which Bhishma, the foremost of the Kurus, had obtained of yore. And as thou wilt lead these ascetics to those tirthas, thy merit will be much greater. Those tirthas are infested by Rakshasas, and no one, save thyself, O son of Kuru race, can go there. Rising early he that reciteth this narrative by the celestial Rishis on the subject of the tirthas, becometh free from all sins. Those foremost of Rishis, Valmiki, and Kasyapa, and Atreya, and Kundajathara, and Viswamitra, and Gautama, and Asita, and Devala, and Markandeya, and Galava, and Bharadwaja, and Vasishtha, and the Muni Uddalaka, and Saunaka with his son, and Vyasa, that best of ascetics, and Durvasas, that foremost of Munis, and Javali of great austerities—all these illustrious Rishis endued with wealth of asceticism, are staying in expectation of thee. With these, O mighty king, do thou meet by visiting these tirthas. And, O illustrious monarch, a great Rishi of immeasurable energy, Lomasa by name, will come to thee. Do thou follow him, and me, and by turns visit these tirthas, O thou virtuous one! By this, thou wilt acquire great fame, like king Mahabhisha! O tiger among kings, even as the virtuous Yayati and king Pururavas, dost thou blaze forth with thy own virtue. Like king Bhagiratha and the illustrious Rama, dost thou shine among kings even as the Sun himself. And thou art, O great king, celebrated (in the world) even as Muni or Ikshwaku, or the highly famous Puru or Vainya! And as in days of yore the slayer of Vritra, after burning all his foes, ruled the three worlds, his mind freed from anxiety, so wilt thou rule thy subjects, after slaying all thy enemies. And, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, having conquered the earth according to the customs of thy order, thou wilt obtain renown by thy virtue, even like Kartaviryaryuna.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “O great king, having comforted the monarch thus, the illustrious Rishi Narada, bidding farewell to the king, disappeared there and then. And the virtuous Yudhishthira, reflecting upon the subject, began to recite unto the ascetics the merit attaching to tirthas!”
Vaisampayana continued, “Having ascertained the opinion of his brothers, and of the intelligent Narada, king Yudhishthira, addressing Dhaumya, who was like unto the Grandsire himself, said, ’I have for the acquisition of arms, sent away that tiger among men, Jishnu, whose prowess is incapable of being baffled, and who is possessed of long arms and immeasurable intelligence. O thou of ascetic wealth, that hero is devoted to me, endued with ability, and well-skilled in weapons, and like unto the exalted Vasudeva himself. I know them both, Krishna and Arjuna, those destroyers of enemies, O Brahmana, endued with prowess, even as the puissant Vyasa knoweth them. I know Vasudeva and Dhananjaya to be none else than Vishnu himself, possessed of the six attributes. And this is also what Narada knoweth, for he hath always spoken so unto me. I also know them to be Rishis, Nara and Narayana. Knowing him to possess the ability, I have sent him (on the mission). Not inferior unto Indra and fully competent (for the task), I have sent that son of a god to see the lord of the celestials and obtain weapons from him. Bhishma and Drona are Atirathas. Kripa and the son of Drona are invincible; these mighty warriors have been installed by Dhritarashtra’s son in the command of his army. All these are versed in the Vedas, are heroic, and possessed of the knowledge of every weapon. Endued with great strength, these always desire to encounter Arjuna in fight. And Karna also of the Suta caste is a mighty warrior versed in celestial weapons. In respect of the impetus of his weapons, he is endued with the strength of the Wind-god. Himself like a flame of fire, the arrows (proceeding from him) constitute its tongues. The slaps of his left hand cased in leathern fence constitute the crackling of that flame. The dust of the battle-field is its smoke. Urged by the sons of Dhritarashtra even as the wind urgeth the fire, Karna like unto the all-consuming fire at the end of the Yuga that is sent by Death himself, will, without doubt, consume my troops like unto a heap of straw. Only that mighty mass of clouds called Arjuna, aided by Krishna like unto a powerful wind, with celestial weapon representing its fierce lightning, the white steeds, the rows of white cranes coursing underneath and the unbearable Gandiva, the rainbow ahead, is capable of extinguishing the blazing flame represented by Karna by means of its arrowy showers let off with unflagging steadiness. That conqueror of hostile cities, Vibhatsu, will, without doubt, succeed in obtaining from Indra himself
Vaisampayana said, “Beholding the Pandavas afflicted with anxiety and depressed in spirits, Dhaumya, who resembled Vrihaspati, spake thus, comforting them, ’O bull of the Bharata race, O sinless one, listen to me as I mention certain sacred asylums and regions and tirthas and mountains that are approved of by Brahmanas. O king, listen to me as I speak, thyself with the daughter of Drupada and thy brothers, wilt, O lord of men, be relieved from grief. And, O son of Pandu, by hearing only of these places, thou wilt acquire merit. And by visiting them thou wilt obtain merit a hundred times greater, O best of men! First, O king, I will, so far as I recollect, speak of the beautiful eastern country, much regarded, O Yudhishthira, by royal Rishis. In that direction, O Bharata is a place called Naimisha which is regarded by the celestials. There in that region are several sacred tirthas belonging to the gods. There also is the sacred and beautiful Gomati which is adored by celestial Rishis and there also is the sacrificial region of the gods and the sacrificial stake of Surya. In that quarter also is that best of hills called Gaya, which is sacred and much regarded by royal ascetics. There on that hill, is the auspicious lake called Brahmasara which is adored by celestial Rishis. It is for this that the ancients say that one should wish for many sons, so that even one among them may visit Gaya, celebrate the horse-sacrifice or give away a nila bull, and thereby deliver ten generations of his race up and down. There, O monarch, is a great river, and spot called Gayasira. In Gayasira is a banian, which is called by the Brahmanas the Eternal banian, for the food that is offered there to the Pitris becometh eternal, O exalted one! The great river that floweth by the place is known by the name of Phalgu, and its waters are all sacred. And,
“Dhaumya continued, ’Listen, O Bharata, I shall now narrate to thee in detail according to my knowledge, the sacred tirthas of the south. In that quarter lieth the sacred and auspicious river Godavari, full of water abounding in groves and frequented by ascetics. In that direction also are the rivers Venna and Bhimarathi, both capable of destroying sin and fear, and abounding in birds and deer, and graced with abodes of ascetics. In that region also, O bull of the Bharata race, is the tirtha of the royal ascetic, Nriga viz., the river Payoshni, which is delightful and full of waters and visited by Brahmanas. There the illustrious Markandeya, of high ascetic merit sang the praises in verse of king Nriga’s line. We have heard respecting the sacrificing king Nriga that which really took place while he was performing a sacrifice in the excellent tirtha called Varaha on the Payoshni. In that sacrifice Indra became intoxicated with quaffing the Soma, and the Brahmanas, with the gifts they received. The water of the Payoshni, taken up (in vessel), or flowing along the ground, or conveyed by the wind, can cleanse a person from whatever sins he may commit till the day of his death. Higher than heaven itself, and pure, and created and bestowed by the trident-bearing god, there in that tirtha is an image of Mahadeva beholding which a mortal goeth to the region of Siva. Placing on one scale Ganga and the other rivers with their waters, and on the other, the Payoshni, the latter, in my opinion would be superior to all the tirthas, together, in point of merit! Then, O foremost of the Bharata race, on the mountain called Varunasrotasa is the sacred and auspicious wood of Mathara abounding in fruits and roots, and containing a sacrificial stake. Then, O king, it is said that in the region on the north of the Praveni, and about the sacred asylum of Kanwa, are many woody retreats of ascetics. And, O child, in the tirtha called Surparaka are two sacrificial platforms of the illustrious Jamadagni, called Pashana and Punaschandra, O Bharata! And, O son of Kunti, in that spot is the tirtha called Asoka abounding in woody retreats of ascetics. And, O Yudhishthira, in the country of the Pandyas are the tirthas named Agastya and Varuna! And, O bull among men, there, amongst the Pandavas, is the tirtha called the Kumaris. Listen, O son of Kunti, I shall now describe Tamraparni. In that asylum the gods had undergone penances impelled by the desire of obtaining salvation. In that region also is the lake of Gokarna which is celebrated over the three worlds, hath an abundance of cool waters, and is sacred, auspicious, and capable, O child, of producing great merit. That lake is extremely difficult of access to men of unpurified souls. Near to that tirtha is the sacred asylum of Agastya’s disciple, the mountain Devasabha, which abounds in trees and grass, and fruits and roots. And there also is the Vaiduryya mountain, which is delightful abounding in gems and capable of bestowing great merit. There on that mountain is the asylum of Agastya abounding in fruits and roots and water.
“’I shall now, O lord of men, describe the sacred spots, and asylums, and rivers and lakes belonging to the Surashtra country! O Yudhishthira, the Brahmanas say that on the sea-coast is the Chamasodbheda, and also Prabhasa, that tirtha which is much regarded by the gods. There also is the tirtha called Pindaraka, frequented by ascetics and capable of producing great merit. In that region is a mighty hill named Ujjayanta which conduceth to speedy success. Regarding it the celestial Rishi Narada of great intelligence hath recited an ancient sloka. Do thou listen to it, O Yudhishthira! By performing austerities on the sacred hill of Ujjayanta in Surashtra, that abounds in birds and animals, a person becometh regarded in heaven. There also is Dwaravati, producing great merit, where dwelleth the slayer of Madhu, who is the Ancient one in embodied form, and eternal virtue. Brahmanas versed in the Vedas, and persons acquainted with the philosophy of the soul say that the illustrious Krishna is eternal Virtue. Govinda is said to be the purest of all pure things, the righteous of the righteous and the auspicious of the auspicious. In all the three worlds, He of eyes like lotus-leaves is the God of gods, and is eternal. He is the pure soul and the active principle of life, is the Supreme Brahma and is the lord of all. That slayer of Madhu, Hari of inconceivable soul, dwelleth there!’”
“Dhaumya continued, ’I shall describe to thee those sacred spots capable of producing merit that lie on the west. In the country of the Anarttas, O Bharata, there flows in a westward course the sacred river Narmada, graced by Priyangu and mango trees, and engarlanded with thickest of canes. All the tirthas and sacred spots, and rivers and woods and foremost of mountains that are in the three worlds, all the gods with the Grandsire, along with the Siddhas, the Rishis and the Charanas, O best of the Kurus, always come, O Bharata, to bathe in the sacred waters of the Narmada. And it hath been heard by us that the sacred asylum of the Muni Visravas, had stood there, and that there was born the lord of treasures, Kuvera, having men for his vehicles. There also is that foremost of hills, the sacred and auspicious Vaidurya peak abounding with trees that are green and which are always graced with fruit and flowers. O lord of the earth, on the top of that mountain is a sacred tank decked with full-blown lotus and resorted to by the gods and the Gandharvas. Many are the wonders, O mighty monarch, that may be seen on that sacred mountain which is like unto heaven itself and which is visited by celestial Rishis. There, O subjugator of hostile cities, is the sacred river called Viswamitra belonging to the royal sage of that name and which abounds, O king, in many sacred tirthas. It was on the banks of this river, that Yayati, the son of Nahusha, (fell from heaven)
“Dhaumya continued, ’O tiger among kings, I shall now describe those tirthas and sacred spots that lie to the north. Do thou, O exalted one, listen to me attentively. By hearing this narration, O hero, one acquireth a reverential frame of mind, which conduceth to much good. In that region is the highly sacred Saraswati abounding in tirthas and with banks easy of descent. There also, O son of Pandu, is the ocean-going and impetuous Yamuna, and the tirtha called Plakshavatarana, productive of high merit and prosperity. It was there that the regenerate ones having performed the Saraswata sacrifice, bathed on the completion thereof. O sinless one, is the well-known celestial tirtha called Agnisiras, which is productive of great merit. There king Sahadeva had celebrated a sacrifice measuring out the ground by a throw of the Samya. It is for this reason, O Yudhishthira, that Indra sang the praises of Sahadeva in verse. Those verses are still current in this world, being recited by the regenerate ones, e.g., on the Yamuna Sahadeva worshipped the sacrificial fire, with gifts in a hundred thousands to Brahmanas. There the illustrious king, the imperial Bharata, performed five and thirty horse-sacrifices. O child, we have heard that Sarabhanga of yore used to fully gratify the desires of the regenerate ones. There in this region is his celebrated asylum productive of great merit. In that region also, O son of Pritha, is the river Saraswati, which is ever worshipped by the god, where, in days of yore, the Valikhilyas,
Vaisampayana continued, “O son of the Kuru race, while Dhaumya was speaking thus, there arrived at the spot the Rishi Lomasa of great energy. And the king, who was the eldest of Pandu’s sons, with his followers and those Brahmanas sat round the highly righteous one, like celestials in heaven sitting round Sakra. And having received him duly, Yudhishthira the just enquired after the reason of his arrival, and the object also of his wanderings. Thus asked by Pandu’s son, the illustrious ascetic, well-pleased, replied in sweet words delighting the Pandayas, ’Travelling at will, O Kaunteya, over all the regions, I came to Sakra’s abode, and saw there the lord of the celestials. There, I saw thy heroic brother capable of wielding the bow with his left hand, seated on the same seat with Sakra. And beholding Partha on that seat I was greatly astonished, O tiger among men! And the lord of the celestials then said unto me, “Go thou unto the sons of Pandu.” At the request, therefore, of Indra as also of the high-souled son of Pritha have I come hither with speed, desiring to see thee with thy younger brothers. O child, I will relate what will please thee highly, O son of Pandu! Do thou listen to it, O king, with Krishna and the Rishis that are with thee. O bull of the Bharata race, Partha hath obtained from Rudra that incomparable weapon for the acquisition of which thou hadst sent him to heaven. That fierce weapon, known by the name of Brahma-sira which arose after Amrila, and which Rudra had obtained by means of ascetic austerities, hath been acquired by Arjuna together with the Mantras for hurling and withdrawing it, and the rites of expiation and revival. And, O Yudhishthira, Arjuna of immeasurable prowess hath also acquired Vajras and Dandas and other celestial weapons from Yama and Kuvera and Varuna and Indra, O son of the Kuru race! And he hath also thoroughly learnt music, both vocal and instrumental, and dancing and proper recitation of the Saman (Veda) from Vishwavasu’s son. And having thus acquired weapons and mastered the Gandhama Veda, thy third brother Vibhatsu liveth happily (in heaven). Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, for I shall now deliver to thee the message of that foremost of celestials. He hath commanded me saying,
“Lomasa continued, ’Listen now, O Yudhishthira, to what Dhananjaya hath said: “Cause my brother Yudhishthira to attend to the practice of virtue which leadeth to prosperity. Endued with wealth of asceticism, thou art conversant with the highest morality, with ascetic austerities of every kind, with the eternal duties of kings blessed with prosperity, and the high and sanctifying merit that men obtain from tirthas. Persuade thou the sons of Pandu to acquire the merit attaching to tirthas. Do thou with thy whole soul persuade the king to visit the tirthas and give away kine.” This is what Arjuna said unto me. Indeed he also said, “Let him visit all the tirthas protected by thee. Thou wilt also protect him from Rakshasas, and watch over him in inaccessible regions and rugged mountain breasts. And as Dadhichi had protected Indra, and Angiras had protected the Sun, so do thou, O best of regenerate ones, protect the sons of Kunti from Rakshasas. Along the way are many Rakshasas, huge as mountain-cliffs. But protected by thee these will not be able to approach the sons of Kunti.” Obedient to the words of Indra and at the request of Arjuna also protecting thee from dangers, I shall wander with thee. Before this, O son of the Kuru race, I have twice visited the tirthas. With thee I shall repair to them for the third time. O Yudhishthira, Manu and other royal Rishis of meritorious deeds
“Yudhishthira answered, ’I am so overwhelmed with delight, O Brahmana, that I cannot find words to answer thee. Who can be more fortunate than he who is remembered even by the lord of the celestials? Who can be more fortunate than he who hath been favoured with thy company, who hath Dhananjaya for a brother, and who is thought of by Vasava himself? As to thy words, O illustrious one, in respect of a trip to the tirthas, my mind had already been made up at the words of Dhaumya. O Brahmana, I shall start, at whatever hour thou mayst be pleased to appoint, on the proposed journey to tirthas. Even this is my firm resolve!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Lomasa then said unto Yudhishthira, who had made up his mind to start on the proposed journey, ’O mighty king, be thou light as regards thy retinue, for by this thou wilt be able to go more easily!’
“Yudhishthira then said, ’Let those mendicants and Brahmanas and Yogis that are incapable of bearing hunger and thirst, the fatigues of travel and toil, and the severity of winter, desist. Let those Brahmanas also desist that live on sweetmeats, and they also that desire cooked viands and food that is sucked or drunk as well as meat. And let those also remain behind that are dependent on cooks. Let those citizens that have followed me from motives of loyalty, and whom I have hitherto kept on proper stipends, repair to king Dhritarashtra. He will give them their allowances in due time. If, however, that king refuses to grant them proper allowances, the king of the Panchalas will, for our satisfaction and welfare, give them these.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “And thereupon oppressed with grief, the citizens and the principal Brahmanas and Yatis set out for Hastinapura. And out of affection for Yudhishthira the just, the royal son of Amvika received them properly, and gratified them with proper allowances. And the royal son of Kunti, with only a small number of Brahmanas, abode for three nights at Kamyaka, cheered by Lomasa.”
Vaisampayana said, “Those Brahmanas then, that had been dwelling (with him) in the woods, beholding the son of Kunti about to set out (on the pious pilgrimage), approached him, O king, and said, ’Thou art about to set out, O king, on thy journey to the sacred tirthas, along with thy brothers and accompanied by the illustrious Rishi Lomasa. O king, it behoveth thee, O son of Pandu, to take us with thee. Without thee, we shall not be able, O son of the Kuru race, to visit them at any time. Surrounded by dangers and difficult of access, they are infested by beasts of prey. Those tirthas, O lord of men, are inaccessible to persons in small parties. Foremost of all wielders of the bow, thy brothers are ever brave. Protected by your heroic selves, we also would proceed to them. Permit us to acquire, O lord of earth, through thy grace the blessed fruit of tirthas. Protected by thy energy, let us, O king, be cleansed of all our sins by visiting those tirthas and purified by baths therein. Bathing in those tirthas, thou also, O Bharata, wilt acquire without doubt the regions difficult of acquisition that Kartavirya and Ashtaka, the royal sage Lomapada and the imperial and heroic Bharata only had earned. In thy company, O king, we desire to behold Prabhasa and other tirthas, Mahendra and other hills, Ganga and other rivers, and Plaksha and other gigantic trees. If, O lord of men, thou hast any regard for the Brahmanas, do thou our bidding. Thou wilt surely have prosperity from this. O thou of mighty arms, the tirthas are infested by Rakshasas that ever obstruct ascetic penances. It behoveth thee to protect us from them. Protected by Lomasa and taking us with thee, go thou to all the tirthas spoken of by Dhaumya and the intelligent Narada, as also all those that have been spoken of by the celestial Rishi Lomasa, endued with great ascetic wealth, and be thou, by this, cleansed of all thy sins.’
“Thus addressed respectfully by them, the king—that bull amongst the sons of Pandu—surrounded by his heroic brothers headed by Bhima, with tears of joy in his eyes, said unto all those ascetics, ‘Let it be so.’ With the permission then of Lomasa, as also of his priest Dhaumya, that foremost of Pandu’s sons with soul under complete control, resolved, along with his brothers and Drupada’s daughter of faultless features, to set out. Just at this time, the blessed Vyasa, as also Parvata and Narada, all endued with high intelligence, came to Kamyaka for seeing the son of Pandu. Beholding them, king Yudhishthira worshipped them with due rites. And worshipped by the monarch thus, those blessed ones, addressing Yudhishthira, said, ’O Yudhishthira, O Bhima, and ye twins, banish all evil thoughts from your minds. Purify your hearts and then set out for the tirthas. The Brahmanas have said that the observance of regulations in respect of the body are called earthly vows, while efforts to purify the heart, so that it may be free from evil thoughts, are called spiritual vows. O king, the mind that is free from all evil thoughts is highly pure. Purifying yourselves, therefore, harbouring only friendly feelings for all, behold ye the tirthas. Observing earthly vows in respect of your bodies and purifying your minds by spiritual vows, obtain ye the fruits as recited, of pilgrimages.’
“Saying, ‘So be it,’ the Pandavas with Krishna, caused those celestial and human Rishis to perform the usual propitiatory ceremonies. And those heroes, having worshipped the feet of Lomasa and Dwaipayana and Narada and the celestial Rishi Parvata, O king, and accompanied by Dhaumya as also the ascetics that had been residing with them in the woods, set out on the day following the full moon of Agrahayana in which the constellation Pushya was ascendant. Dressed in barks and hides, and with matted lock on head, they were all cased in impenetrable mail and armed with swords. And O Janamejaya, the heroic sons of Pandu with quivers and arrows and scimitars and other weapons, and accompanied by Indrasena and other attendants with fourteen and one cars, a number of cooks and servants of other classes, set out with faces turned towards the east!”
“Yudhishthira said, ’O best of celestial Rishis, I do not think that I am without merits. Yet am I afflicted with so much sorrow that there never was a king like me. I think, however, that my enemies are destitute of good qualities and even destitute of morality. Yet why, O Lomasa, do they prosper in this world?’
“Lomasa said, ’Grieve not ever, O king, O son of Pritha, that sinful men should often prosper in consequence of the sins they commit. A man may be seen to prosper by his sins, obtain good therefrom and vanquish his foes. Destruction, however, overtakes him to the roots. O king, I have seen many Daityas and Danavas prosper by sin but I have also seen destruction overtake them. O exalted one, I have seen all this in the righteous age of yore. The gods practised virtue, while the Asuras abandoned it. The gods visited the tirthas, while the Asuras did not visit them. And at first the sinful Asuras were possessed with pride. And pride begat vanity and vanity begat wrath. And from wrath arose every kind of evil propensities, and from these latter sprang shamelessness. And in consequence of shamelessness, good behaviour disappeared from among them. And because they had become shameless and destitute of virtuous propensities and good conduct and virtuous vows, forgiveness and prosperity and morality forsook them in no time. And prosperity then, O king, sought the gods, while adversity sought the Asuras. And when the Daityas and the Danavas, deprived of sense by pride, were possessed by adversity, Kali also sought to possess them. And, O son of Kunti, overwhelmed with pride, and destitute of rites and sacrifices, and devoid of reason and feeling, and their hearts full of vanity, destruction overtook them soon. And covered with infamy, the Daityas were soon exterminated. The gods, however, who were virtuous in their practices, going to the seas, the rivers, the lakes and the holy spots, cleansed themselves of all sins, O son of Pandu, by means of ascetic penances and sacrifices and gifts and blessings,
Vaisampayana said, “The heroic sons of Pandu, accompanied by their followers, proceeding from place to place, at last arrived at Naimisha. O king, reaching the Gomati, the Pandavas bathed in the sacred tirtha of that stream, and having performed their ablutions there, they gave away, O Bharata, both kine and wealth! And repeatedly offering oblations of water, O Bharata, to the gods, the pitris, and the Brahmanas, in the tirthas called Kanya, Aswa, and Go and staying (as directed) in Kalakoti and the Vishaprastha hills, the Kauravas then, O king, reached Vahuda and performed their ablution in that stream. Proceeding next, O lord of earth, to the sacrificial region of the gods known by the name Prayaga, they bathed in the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna and residing there practised ascetic penances of great merit. And the Pandavas, of truthful promises, bathing in the tirtha, cleansed themselves of every sin. The sons of Pandu then, O king of the Bharata race, accompanied by those Brahmanas, proceeded to the tirtha called Vedi, sacred to the Creator and adored by the ascetics. Residing there for some time and gratifying the Brahmanas with the fruit and roots of the wilderness and clarified butter, those heroes began to practise ascetic penances of great merit. They then proceeded to Mahidhara consecrated by that virtuous royal sage Gaya of unrivalled splendour. In that region is the hill called Gayasira, as well as the delightful river called Mahanadi, with fine banks graced by bushes of canes. On that celestial hill of holy peaks is a sacred tirtha called Brahmasara which is much adored by ascetics. There on the banks of that lake had dwelt of yore the eternal god himself of justice, and it was thither
“’O son of the Kuru race, many times did king Gaya perform sacrifices of this description, here, by the side of this Brahmasara!’”
Vaisampayana said, “After this the royal son of Kunti who was ever distinguished for his profuse gifts unto Brahmanas, proceeded to the asylum of Agastya and took up his abode in Durjaya. It was here that that foremost of speakers, king Yudhishthira asked Lomasa as to why Agastya had slain Vatapi there. And the king also enquired after the extent of that man-destroying Daitya’s prowess, and the reason also of the illustrious Agastya’s wrath being excited against that Asura.
“Thus questioned, Lomasa said, ’O son of Kuru race, there was in the city called Manimati, in days of yore, a Daitya named Ilwala, whose younger brother was Vatapi. One day that son of Diti addressed the Brahmana endued with ascetic merit, saying, “O holy one, grant me a son equal unto Indra.” The Brahmana, however, did not grant the Asura a son like Indra. And at this, the Asura was inflamed with wrath against the Brahmana. And from that day, O king, the Asura Ilwala became a destroyer of Brahmanas. And endued with power of illusion the angry Asura transformed his brother into a ram. And Vatapi also capable of assuming any form at will, would immediately assume the shape of a ram. And the flesh of that ram, after being properly dressed, was offered to Brahmanas as food. And after they had eaten of it, they were slain. For whomsoever Ilwala summoned with his voice, he would come back to Ilwala even if he had gone to the abode of Yama, in re-embodied form endued with life, and show himself to Ilwala. And so having transformed the Asura Vatapi into a ram and properly cooked his flesh and feeding Brahmanas therewith, he would summon Vatapi. And the mighty Asura Vatapi, that foe of Brahmanas, endued with great strength and power of illusion, hearing, O king, those sounds uttered with a loud voice by Ilwala, and ripping open the flanks of the Brahmana would come laughingly out, O lord of earth! And it was thus, O monarch, that the wicked-hearted Daitya Ilwala, having fed Brahmanas, frequently took away their lives.
“’Meanwhile, the illustrious Agastya beheld his deceased ancestors hanging in a pit with heads downwards. And he asked those personages thus suspended in that hole, saying, “What is the matter with you?” Thus questioned those utterers of Brahma replied, “It is even for offspring.” And they also told him, “We are your ancestors. It is even for offspring that we stay suspended in this pit. If, O Agastya, thou canst beget us a good son, we may then be saved from this hell and thou also wilt obtain thy blessed state of those having offspring.” Endued with great energy and observant of truth and morality Agastya replied, saying, “Ye Pitris, I will accomplish your desire. Let this anxiety of yours be dispelled.” And the illustrious
“Lomasa continued, ’When Agastya thought that girl to be competent for the duties of domesticity, he approached that lord of earth—the ruler of Vidharbhas—and addressing him, said, “I solicit thee, O king, to bestow thy daughter Lopamudra on me.” Thus addressed by the Muni, the king of the Vidharbhas swooned away. And though unwilling to give the Muni his daughter, he dared not refuse. And that lord of earth then, approaching his queen, said, “This Rishi is endued with great energy. If angry, he may consume me with the fire of his curse. O thou of sweet face, tell me what is thy wish.” Hearing these words of the king, she uttered not a word. And beholding the king along with the queen afflicted with sorrow, Lopamudra approached them in due time and said, “O monarch, it behoveth thee not to grieve on my account. Bestow me on Agastya, and, O father, save thyself, by giving me away.” And at these words of his daughter, O monarch, the king gave away Lopamudra unto the illustrious Agastya
“’After a considerable time, O king, the illustrious Rishi one day beheld Lopamudra, blazing in ascetic splendour come up after the bath in her season. And pleased with the girl, for her services, her purity, and self control, as also with her grace and beauty, he summoned her for marital intercourse. The girl, however, joining her hands, bashfully but lovingly addressed the Rishi, saying, “The husband, without doubt, weddeth the wife for offspring. But it behoveth thee, O Rishi, to show that love to me which I have for thee. And it behoveth thee, O regenerate one, to approach me on a bed like to that which I had in the palace of my father. I also desire that thou shouldst be decked in garlands of flowers and other ornaments, and that I should approach thee adorned in those celestial ornaments that I like. Otherwise, I cannot approach thee, dressed in these rags dyed in red. Nor, O regenerate Rishi, it is sinful to wear ornaments (on such an occasion).” Hearing these words of his wife, Agastya replied, “O blessed girl, O thou of slender waist, I have not wealth like what thy father hath, O Lopamudra!” She answered saying, “Thou who art endued with wealth of asceticism, art certainly able to bring hither within a moment, by ascetic power, everything that exists in the world of men.” Agastya said, “It is even so as thou hast said. That, however, would waste my ascetic merit. O bid me do that which may not loosen my ascetic merit.” Lopamudra then said, “O thou endued with wealth of asceticism, my season will not last long, I do not desire, however, to approach thee otherwise. Nor do I desire to diminish thy (ascetic) merit in any way. It behoveth thee, however, to do as I desire, without injuring thy virtue.”
“’Agastya then said, “O blessed girl, if this be the resolve that thou hast settled in thy heart, I will go out in quest of wealth. Meanwhile, stay thou here as it pleaseth thee."’”
“Lomasa continued, ’Agastya then, O son of the Kuru race, went to king Srutarvan who was regarded as richer than other kings, to beg for wealth. And that monarch, learning of the arrival of the pot-born Rishi on the frontiers of his kingdoms, went out with his ministers and received the holy man with respect. And the king duly offering the Arghya in the first instance, submissively and with joined hands enquired then after the reason of the Rishi’s arrival. And Agastya answered saying, “O lord of the earth, know that I have come to thee, desirous of wealth. Give me a portion according to thy ability and without doing injury to others."’
“Lomasa continued, ’The king, then, representing unto the Rishi the equality of his expenditure and income, said, “O learned one, take thou from my possessions the wealth thou pleasest.” Beholding, however, the equality of that monarch’s expenditure with income, the Rishi who always saw both sides with equal eyes, thought that if he took anything under the circumstances, his act would result in injury to creatures. Taking, therefore, Srutarvan with him, the Rishi went to Vradhnaswa. The latter, hearing of their arrival on his frontiers, received them duly. And Vradhnaswa also offered them the Arghyas and water to wash their feet. And the monarch, with their permission, then enquired after the reason of their coming. And Agastya said, “O lord of earth, know that we have come to thee desirous of wealth. Give us what thou canst, without doing injury to others."’
“Lomasa continued, ’That monarch then represented unto them the equality of his expenditure and income, and said, “Knowing this, take ye what ye desire.” The Rishi, however, who saw both sides with equal eyes, beholding the equality of that monarch’s income with expenditure, thought that if he took anything under the circumstances, his act would result in injury to all creatures. Agastya and Srutarvan, with king Vardhnaswa then went to Purokutsa’s son, Trasadasyu, of enormous wealth. The high-souled Trasadasyu, learning of their arrival on the confines of his kingdom went out, O king, and received them well. And that best of monarchs in Ikshvaku’s line, having worshipped all of them duly, enquired after the reason of their arrival. And Agastya answered, “O lord of earth, know that we have all come to thee, desirous of wealth. Give us what you can, without injuring others."’
“Lomasa continued, ’That monarch then, represented unto them the equality of his income with expenditure, and said, “Knowing this, take ye what ye desire.” Beholding, however, the equality of that monarch’s expenditure with income, the Rishi who saw both sides with equal eyes, thought that if he took anything under the circumstances, his act would result in injury to all creatures. Then, O monarch, all those kings looking at one another, together spoke unto the Rishis saying, “O Brahmana, there is a Danava of the name Ilwala who of all persons on earth, is possessed of enormous wealth. Let us all approach him to-day and beg wealth of him."’
“Lomasa continued, ’This suggestion, O king, of begging wealth of Ilwala appeared to them to be proper. And, O monarch, all of them went together to Ilwala after this!’”
“Lomasa said, ’When Ilwala learnt that those kings along with the great Rishi had arrived on the confines of his domain, he went out with his ministers and worshipped them duly. And that prince of Asuras received them hospitably, entertaining them, O son of the Kuru race, with well dressed meat supplied by his brother Vatapi (transformed into a ram). Then all those royal sages, beholding the mighty Asura Vatapi, who had been transformed into a ram thus cooked for them, became sad and cheerless and were nearly deprived of themselves. But that best of Rishis—Agastya—addressing those royal sages, said, “Yield ye not to grief, I will eat up the great Asura.” And the mighty Rishi then sat himself down on an excellent seat, and the prince of Asuras, Ilwala, began to distribute the food smilingly. And Agastya ate up the whole of the meat supplied by Vatapi (transformed into a ram). And after the dinner was over, Ilwala began to summon his brother. But thereupon a quantity of air alone came out of the illustrious Rishi’s stomach, with a sound that was as loud, O child, as the roar of the clouds. And Ilwala repeatedly said, “Come out, O Vatapi!” Then that best of Munis—Agastya—bursting out in laughter, said, “How can he come out? I have already digested that great Asura.” And beholding his brother already digested, Ilwala became sad and cheerless and joining his hands, along with his ministers, addressing the Rishi (and his companions), said, “What for have ye come hither, and what can I do for you?” And Agastya smilingly answered Ilwala, saying, “We know thee, O Asura, to be possessed of great power and also enormous wealth. These kings are not very wealthy while my need also of wealth is great. Give us what thou canst, without injuring others.” Thus addressed Ilwala saluted the Rishi and said, “If thou say what it is that I mean to give, then will I give you wealth.” Hearing this Agastya said, “O great Asura, thou hast even purposed to give unto each of these kings ten thousand kine and as many gold coins. And unto me thou hast purposed to give twice as much, as also a car of gold and a couple of horses fleet as thought. If thou enquirest now, thou wilt soon learn that your car is made of gold.” Thereupon, O son of Kunti, Ilwala made enquiries and learnt that the car he had intended to give away was really a golden one. And the Daitya then with a sad heart, gave away much wealth and that car, unto which were yoked two steeds called Virava and Surava. And those steeds, O Bharata, took those kings and Agastya and all that wealth to the asylum of Agastya within the twinkling of an eye. And those royal sages then obtaining Agastya’s permission, went away to their respective cities. And Agastya also (with that wealth) did all that his wife Lopamudra had desired. And Lopamudra then said, “O illustrious one, thou hast now accomplished all my wishes. Beget thou a child on me that shall be possessed of great energy.” And Agastya replied unto her, saying, “O blessed and beauteous
“Lomasa continued, ’Saying, “So be it,” that pious Muni thereupon knew his devout wife of equal behaviour. And after she had conceived, he retired into the forest. And after the Muni had gone away, the foetus began to grow for seven years. And after the seventh year had expired, there came out of the womb, the highly learned Dridhasyu, blazing, O Bharata, in his own splendour. And the great Brahmana and illustrious ascetic, endued with mighty energy, took his birth as the Rishi’s son, coming out of the womb, as if repeating the Vedas with the Upanishads and the Angas. Endued with great energy while yet a child, he used to carry loads of sacrificial fuel into the asylum of his father, and was thence called Idhmavaha (carrier of sacrificial wood). And the Muni, beholding his son possessed of such virtues, became highly glad.
“’And it was thus, O Bharata, that Agastya begat an excellent son in consequence of which his ancestors, O king, obtained the regions they desired. And it is from that time that this spot hath become known on the earth as the asylum of Agastya. Indeed, O king, this is the asylum graced with numerous beauties, of that Agastya who had slain Vatapi of Prahlada’s race. The sacred Bhagirathi, adored by gods and Gandharvas gently runneth by, like a breeze-shaken pennon in the welkin. Yonder also she floweth over craggy crests descending lower and lower, and looketh like an affrighted she-snake lying along the hilly slopes. Issuing out of the matted locks of Mahadeva, she passes along, flooding the southern country and benefiting it like a mother, and ultimately mingleth with the ocean as if she were his favourite bride. Bathe ye as ye like in this sacred river, ye son of Pandu! And behold there, O Yudhishthira, the tirtha of Bhrigu that is celebrated over the three worlds and adored, O king, by great Rishis. Bathing here, Rama (of Bhrigu’s race) regained his might, which had been taken away from him (by Dasaratha’s son). Bathing here, O son of Pandu, with thy brothers and Krishna, thou wilt certainly regain that energy of thine that hath been taken away by Duryodhana, even as Rama regained his that had been taken away by Dasaratha’s son in hostile encounter.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “At these words of Lomasa, Yudhishthira bathed there with his brothers and Krishna, and offered oblations of water, O Bharata, to the gods and the Pitris. And, O bull among men, after Yudhishthira had bathed in that tirtha, his body blazed forth in brighter effulgence, and he became invisible in respect of all foes. The son of Pandu then, O king, asked Lomasa, saying, ’O illustrious one, why had Rama’s energy and might been taken away? And how also did he regain it? O exalted one, I ask thee, tell me everything.’
“Lomasa said, ’Listen, O king, to the history of Rama (the son of Dasaratha) and Rama of Bhrigu’s line gifted with intelligence. For the destruction of Ravana, O king, Vishnu, in his own body, took his birth as the son of illustrious Dasaratha. We saw in Ayodhya that son of Dasaratha after he had been born. It was then that Rama of Bhrigu’s line, the son of Richika by Renuka, hearing of Rama the son of Dasaratha—of spotless deeds—went to Ayodhya, impelled by curiosity, and taking with him that celestial bow so fatal to the Kshatriyas, for ascertaining the prowess of Dasaratha’s son. And Dasaratha, hearing that Rama of Bhrigu’s race had arrived on the confines of his domains, set his own son Rama to receive the hero with respect. And beholding Dasaratha’s son approach and stand before him with ready weapons, Rama of Bhrigu’s line smilingly addressed him, O son of Kunti, saying, “O king, O exalted one, string, if thou canst, with all thy mighty, this bow which in my hands was made the instrument of destroying the Kshatriya race.” Thus addressed, Dasaratha’s son answered, “O illustrious one, it behoveth thee not to insult me thus. Nor am I, amongst the regenerate classes, deficient in the virtues of the Kshatriya order. The descendants of Ikshwaku in special never boast of the prowess of their arms.” Then unto Dasaratha’s son who said so, Rama of Bhrigu’s line replied, “A truce to all crafty speech, O king! Take this bow.” At this, Rama the son of Dasaratha, took in anger from the hands of Rama of Bhrigu’s line that celestial bow that had dealt death to the foremost of Kshatriyas. And, O Bharata, the mighty hero smilingly strung that bow without the least exertion, and with its twang loud as the thunder-rattle, affrighted all creatures. And Rama, the son of Dasaratha, then, addressing Rama of Bhrigu’s said, “Here, I have strung this bow. What else, O Brahmana, shall I do for thee?” Then Rama, the son of Jamadagni, gave unto the illustrious son of Dasaratha a celestial arrow and said, “Placing this on the bow-string, draw to thy ear, O hero!"’” “Lomasa continued, ’Hearing this, Dasaratha’s son blazed up in wrath and said, “I have heard what thou hast said, and even pardoned thee. O son of Bhrigu’s race, thou art full of vanity. Through the Grandsire’s grace thou hast obtained energy that is superior to that of the Kshatriyas. And it is for this that thou insultest me. Behold me now in my native form: I give thee sight.” Then Rama of Bhrigu’s race beheld in the body of Dasaratha’s son the Adityas with the Vasus, the Rudras, the Sadhyas with the Marutas, the Pitris, Hutasana, the stellar constellations and the planets, the Gandharvas, the Rakshasas, the Yakshas, the Rivers, the tirthas, those eternal Rishis identified with Brahma and called the Valkhilyas, the celestial Rishis, the Seas and Mountains, the Vedas with the Upanishads and Vashats and the sacrifices, the Samans in their living form, the Science of weapons,
“Yudhishthira said, ’O best of regenerate ones, I desire again to hear of the achievements in detail of Agastya—that illustrious Rishi endued with great intelligence.’
“Lomasa said, ’Listen now, O king, to the excellent and wonderful and extraordinary history of Agastya, as also, O monarch, about the prowess of that Rishi of immeasurable energy. There were in the Krita age certain tribes of fierce Danavas that were invincible in battle. And they were known by the name of Kalakeyas and were endued with terrible prowess. Placing themselves under Vritra and arming themselves with diverse weapons they pursued the celestials with Indra at their head in all directions. The gods then all resolved upon the destruction of Vritra, and went with Indra at their head to Brahma. And beholding them standing before him with joined hands, Parameshthi addressed them all and said, “Everything is known to me, ye gods, about what ye seek. I shall indicate now the means by which ye may slay Vritra. There is a high-souled and great Rishi known by the name of Dadhicha. Go ye all together unto him and solicit of him a boon. With well-pleased heart, that Rishi of virtuous soul will even grant you the
“Lomasa said, ’Armed with the Vajra then, and supported by celestials endued with great might, Indra then approached Vritra, who was then occupying the entire earth and the heaven. And he was guarded on all sides by huge-bodied Kalakeyas with upraised weapons resembling gigantic mountains with towering peaks. And the encounter that took place between the gods and the Danavas lasted for a short while and was, O chief of the Bharatas, terrific in the extreme, appalling as it did the three worlds. And loud was the clash of swords and scimitars upraised and warded off by heroic hands in course of those fierce encounters. And heads (severed from trunks) began to roll from the firmament to the earth like fruits of the palmyra palm falling upon the ground, loosened from their stalks. And the Kalakeyas armed with iron-mounted bludgeons and cased in golden mail ran against the gods, like moving mountains on conflagration. And the gods, unable to stand the shock of that impetuous and proudly advancing host, broke and fled from fear. Purandara of a thousand eyes, beholding the gods flying in fear and Vritra growing in boldness, became deeply dejected. And the foremost of gods Purandara, himself, agitated with the fear of the Kalakeyas, without losing a moment, sought the exalted Narayana’s refuge. And the eternal Vishnu beholding Indra so depressed enhanced his might by imparting unto him a portion of his own energy. And when the celestials beheld that Sakra was thus protected by Vishnu, each of them imparted unto him his own energy. And the spotless Brahmarshis also imparted their energies unto the chief of the celestials. And favoured thus by Vishnu and all the gods and by the high-blessed Rishis also, Sakra became mightier than before. And when Vritra learnt that the chief of the celestials had been filled with might of others, he sent forth some terrific roars. And at these roars of his, the earth, the directions, the firmament, heaven, and the mountains all began to tremble. And the chief of the celestials, deeply agitated on hearing that fierce and loud roar, was filled with fear, and desiring to slay the Asura soon, hurled, O king, the mighty Vajra. And struck with Indra’s Vajra the great Asura decked in gold and garlands fell head-long, like the great mountain Mandara hurled of yore from Vishnu’s hands; and although the prince of Daityas was slain, yet Sakra in panic ran from the field, desiring to take shelter in a lake, thinking that the Vajra itself had not been hurled from his hands and regarding that Vritra himself was still alive. The celestials, however, and the great Rishis became filled with joy, and all of them began to cheerfully chant the praise of Indra. And mustering together, the celestials began to slay the Danavas, who were dejected at the death of their leader. And struck with panic at sight of the assembled celestial host, the afflicted Danavas fled to the depths of the sea. And having entered the fathomless deep,
“Lomasa said, ’The Kalakeyas then having recourse to that receptacle of waters, which is the abode of Varuna, began their operations for the destruction of the universe. And during the darkness of the night those angry Daityas began to devour the Munis they found in woody retreats and sacred spots. And those wicked wretches devoured in the asylum of Vasishtha, Brahmanas to the number of a hundred and eighty, besides nine other ascetics. And, proceeding to the asylum of Chyavana that was inhabited by many Brahmacharis, they devoured a century of Brahmanas that lived upon fruit and roots alone. And they began to do all this during the darkness of the night, while they entered the depths of the sea by day. And they slew a full score of Brahmanas of subdued souls and leading a Brahmacharya mode of life and living upon air and water alone, in the retreat of Bharadwaja. And it was thus that those Danavas the Kalakeyas, intoxicated with prowess of arms and their lives nearly run out, gradually invaded all the asylums of the Rishis during the darkness of the night, slaughtering numerous Brahmanas. And, O best of men, although the Danavas behaved in this way towards the ascetics in woody retreats, yet men failed to discover anything of them. And every morning people saw the dead bodies of Munis emaciated with frugal diet, lying on the ground. And many of those bodies were without flesh and without blood, without marrow, without entrails, and with limbs separated from one another. And here and there lay on the ground heaps of bones like masses of conch shells. And the earth was scattered over with the (sacrificial) contents of broken jars and shattered ladles for pouring libations of clarified butter and with the sacred fires kept with care by the ascetics. And the universe afflicted with the terror of the Kalakeyas, being
“’The celestials said, “Through thy favour it is that all born beings of the four kinds increase. And they being created, propitiate the dwellers of heaven by offerings made to the gods and the names of departed forefathers. Thus it is that people, protected by thee and free from trouble live depending on one another, and (so) increase. Now this peril hath befallen the people. We do not know by whom are Brahmanas being killed during the night. If the Brahmanas are destroyed, the earth itself will meet with destruction, and if the earth cometh to an end, heaven also will cease to exist. O mighty-armed one, O lord of the universe! we beseech thee (to act so) that all the worlds, protected by thee, may not come to an end, so it may please thee.”
“’Vishnu said, “Ye gods! To me is known the reason of the destruction of the born beings, I shall speak of it to you; listen with minds free from tribulation. There exists an exceedingly fierce host, known by the name of Kalakeyas. They, under the lead of Vritra, were devastating the whole universe. And when they saw that Vritra was slain by the sagacious Indra endued with a thousand eyes, they, to preserve their lives, entered into the ocean, that abode of Varuna. And having entered the ocean, abounding with sharks and crocodiles, they at night killed the saints at this spot with the view of exterminating the people. But they cannot be slain, as they have taken shelter within the sea. Ye should, therefore, think of some expedient to dry up the ocean. Who save Agastya is capable of drying up the sea. And without drying up the ocean, these (demons) cannot be assailed by any other means.” Hearing these words of Vishnu, the gods took the permission of Brahma, who lives at the best of all regions, and went to the hermitage of Agastya. Then they beheld the high-souled Agastya, the son of Varuna, of resplendent mien, and waited upon by saints, even as Brahma is waited upon by celestials. And approaching him, they addressed the son of Mitra and Varuna at the hermitage, magnanimous and unswerving, and looking like an embodiment of pious works piled together, and glorified him by reciting his deeds. The deities said, “Thou wert formerly the refuge of the gods when they were oppressed by Nahusha. Thorn of the world that he was, he was thrown down from his throne of heaven—from the celestial regions. Vindhya, the foremost of all mountains, suddenly began to increase his height, from a wrathful competition with the sun (i.e., to rival him in altitude). But he hath ceased to increase, as he was unable to disobey thy command. And when darkness hath covered the world, the born beings were harassed by death, but having obtained thee for a protector, they attained the utmost security. Whenever we are beset by perils, thy reverence is always our refuge; for this reason it is that we solicit a boon from thee; as thou ever grantest the boon solicited (of thee)."’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’O great saint! I am desirous of hearing in detail why it was that Vindhya, made senseless with wrath, suddenly began to increase his bulk.’
“Lomasa said, ’The sun between his rising and setting used to revolve round that monarch of mountains—the great Meru of golden lustre. And seeing this the mountain Vindhya spake to Surya saying, “As thou every day goest round Meru and honourest him by thy circumambulations, do thou even the same by me, O maker of light!” Thus addressed, the sun replied to the great mountain, saying, “I do not of my own will honour this mountain by my circumambulations. By those who have built this universe hath that path been assigned to me.” Thus addressed the mountain suddenly
“’The gods said, “This king of hills, Vindhya, giving way to wrath, is stopping the path of the Sun and the Moon, and also the course of the stars. O foremost of Brahmanas! O thou great in gifts! excepting thyself, there is none who can prevent him; therefore do thou make him desist.” Hearing these words of the gods the Brahmana came to the mountain. And he with his wife, having arrived there, came near Vindhya and spake to him, saying, “O thou best of mountains! I wish to have a path given to me by thee, as, for some purpose, I shall have to go to the southern region. Until my return, do thou wait for me. And when I have returned, O king of mountains, thou mayst increase in bulk as much as thou pleasest.” And, O slayer of foes! having made this compact with Vindhya up to the present day Varuna’s son doth not return from the southern region. Thus have I, asked by thee, narrated to thee why Vindhya doth not increase in bulk, by reason of the power of Agastya. Now, O king! hear how the Kalakeyas were killed by the gods, after they had obtained their prayer from Agastya.
“’Having heard the words of the gods, Agastya, the son of Mitra, and Varuna, said, “Wherefore are ye come? What boon do ye solicit from me?” Thus addressed by him, the deities then spake to the saint, saying, “This deed we ask thee to achieve, viz., to drink up the great ocean, O magnanimous (saint)! Then we shall be able to slay those enemies of the gods, known by the name of Kalakeyas, together with all their adherents.” Having heard the words of the gods, the saint said, “Let it be so—I shall do even what ye desire, and that which will conduce to the great happiness of men.” Having said this, he then proceeded to the ocean—the lord of rivers,—accompanied by sages, ripe in the practice of penances, and also by the deities, O thou who leadest an excellent life! And men and snakes, celestial choristers, Yakshas and Kinnaras followed the magnanimous saints,—desirous of witnessing that wonderful event. Then they came up all together near to the sea, of awful roar, dancing, as it were, with its billows, bounding with the breeze, and laughing with masses of froth, and stumbling at the caves, and thronged with diverse kinds of sharks, and frequented by flocks of various birds. And the deities accompanied by Agastya and celestial choristers and huge snakes and highly-gifted saints, approached the immense watery waste.’”
“Lomasa said, ’That blessed saint, the son of Varuna, having reached the sea spake unto the assembled gods, and the saints gathered together, saying “I surely am going to drink up the ocean—that abode of the god of waters. Be ye quickly ready with those preparations which it devolves upon you to make.” Having spoken these few words, the unswerving offspring of Mitra and Varuna, full of wrath, began to drink up the sea, while all the worlds stood observing (the deed). Then the gods, together with Indra, seeing how the sea was being drunk up, were struck with mighty amazement, and glorified him with laudatory words, saying, “Thou art our protector, and the Providence itself for men,—and also the creator of the worlds. By thy favour the universe with its gods may possibly be saved from havoc.” And the magnanimous one, glorified by the gods—while the musical instruments of celestial choristers were playing all round, and while celestial blossoms were showered upon him—rendered waterless the wide ocean. And seeing the wide ocean rendered devoid of water, the host of gods was exceedingly glad; and taking up choice weapons of celestial forge, fell to slaying the demons with courageous hearts,—And they, assailed by the magnanimous gods, of great strength, and swift of speed, and roaring loudly, were unable to withstand the onset of their fleet and valorous (foes)—those residents of the heavenly regions, O descendant of Bharata! And those demons, attacked by the gods, bellowing loudly, for a moment carried on terrible conflict. They had been in the first instance burnt by the force of penances performed by the saints, who had matured their selves; therefore, the demons, though they tried to the utmost, were at last slaughtered by the gods. And decked with brooches of gold, and bearing on their persons ear-rings and armlets, the demons, when slain, looked beautiful indeed, like palasa trees when full of blossoms. Then, O best of men! a few—the remnant of those that were killed of the Kalakeya race, having rent asunder the goddess Earth, took refuge at the bottom of the nether regions. And the gods, when they saw that the demons were slain, with diverse speeches, glorified the mighty saint, and spake the following words. “O thou of mighty arms, by thy favour men have attained a mighty blessing, and the Kalakeyas, of ruthless strength have been killed by thy power, O creator of beings! Fill the sea (now), O mighty-armed one; give up again the water drunk up by thee.” Thus addressed, the blessed and mighty saint replied, “That water in sooth hath been digested by me. Some other expedient, therefore, must be thought of by you, if ye desire to make endeavour to fill the ocean.” Hearing this speech of that saint of matured soul, the assembled gods were struck with both wonder and sadness, O great king! And thereupon, having bidden adieu to each other, and bowed to the mighty saint all the born beings went their way. And the gods with Vishnu, came to Brahma. And having held consultation again, with the view of filling up the sea, they, with joined hands, spake about replenishing it.’”
“Lomasa said, ’Then gathered together, Brahma, the grandfather of men (thus) addressed, “Go ye, O gods! whither your pleasure may lead you, or your desire conduct you. It will take a long course of time for the ocean to resume its wonted state; the occasion will be furnished by the agnates of the great king Bhagiratha.” Hearing the words of the (universal) grandfather (Brahma), all the foremost gods went their way biding the day (when the ocean was to be filled again).’
“Yudhishthira said, ’What was that occasion, O Saint? And how did the agnates of (Bhagiratha furnish the same)? And how was the ocean refilled by the interference of Bhagiratha? O Saint, who deemest thy religious practices as thy only treasure, O thou of the priestly class! I wish to hear the account of the achievements of the king, narrated in detail by thyself.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Thus addressed by the magnanimous and virtuous king, he, the chief of men of the priestly class, narrated the achievements of the high-souled (king) Sagara.
“Lomasa said, ’There was born in the family of the Ikshaku tribe, a ruler of the earth named Sagara, endued with beauty, and strength. And that same (king) of a dreaded name was sonless, O descendant of Bharata! And he carried havoc through the tribes of the Haihayas and the Talajanghas; brought under subjection the whole of the military caste; (and so) ruled over his own kingdom. And, O most praiseworthy of the descendants of Bharata! O chief of the Bharata race! he had two wives proud of their beauty and of their youth,—one a princess of the Vidarbha race, and the other of the royal line of Sivi. And, O chief of kings, that same ruler of men, betook himself to the mountain Kailasa, accompanied by both his wives, and with the desire of having a son became engaged in the practice of exceeding austere penances. And being engaged in the practice of rigid austerities, and (also) employed in the contemplation known by the name of Yoga, he obtained the sight of the magnanimous god with three eyes—the slayer of the demon called Tripura; the worker of blessings (for all beings); the (eternally) existent one; the ruling Being, the holder of the Pinaka bow; carrying in his hand his (well-known weapon)—the trident; the god of three eyes; the repository of (eternal) peace; the ruler of all those that are fierce; capable of assuming very many forms; and the lord of the goddess Uma. And that same ruler of men, of mighty arms, as soon as he beheld the god—that giver of boons—fell down at his feet, with both his queens, and proffered a prayer to have a son. And the god Siva, well pleased with him, spake (thus) to that most righteous of the rulers of men, attended by his two wives, saying, “O lord of men! considering the (astrological) moment at which thou hast proffered thy prayer to me, sixty thousand sons, O foremost of choice men valorous and
“Lomasa said, ’O most righteous of kings! When he heard these words (proceeding) from the sky, he had faith therein, and did all that he was directed to do, O chief of the men of Bharata’s race! Then the ruler of men took separately each of the seeds and then placed these divisions (of the gourd) in vessels filled with clarified butter. And intent on the preservation of his sons, he provided a nurse for every (receptacle). Then after a long time there arose sixty thousand exceedingly powerful sons of that same king—gifted with unmeasured strength, they were born, O ruler of earth! to that saint-like king, by Rudra’s favour. And they were terrible; and their acts were ruthless. And they were able to ascend and roam about in the sky; and being numerous themselves, despised everybody, including the gods. And they would chase even the gods, the Gandharvas, and the Rakshasas and all the born beings, being themselves valiant and addicted to fighting. Then all people, harassed by the dull-headed sons of Sagara, united with all the gods, went to Brahma as their refuge. And then addressed the blessed grandfather of all beings (Brahma), “Go ye your way, ye gods, together with all these men. In a not very long space of time, there will come about, O gods! a great and exceedingly terrible destruction of Sagara’s sons, caused by the deed perpetrated by them.” Thus addressed, those same gods, and men, O lord of the sons of Manu! bade adieu to the grandfather, and went back to whence they had
“’And those same sons of Sagara, accepted this command of their father, and once more began to search through the entire world. Now these heroes saw a rift on the surface of the earth. And having reached this pit, the sons of Sagara began to excavate it. And with spades and pickaxes they went on digging the sea, making the utmost efforts. And that same abode of Varuna (namely the ocean), being thus, excavated by the united sons of Sagara and rent and cut on all sides round, was placed in a condition of the utmost distress. And the demons and snakes and Rakshasas and various (other) animated beings began to utter distressful cries, while being killed by Sagara’s sons. And hundreds and thousands of animated beings were beheld with severed heads and separated trunks and with their skins and bones and joints rent asunder and broken. Thus they went on digging the ocean, which was the abode of Varuna and an exceedingly long space of time expired in this work, but still the horse was not found. Then, O lord of earth! towards the north-eastern region of the sea, the incensed sons of Sagara dug down as far as the lower world, and there they beheld the horse, roaming about on the surface of the ground. And they saw the magnanimous Kapila, who looked like a perfect mass of splendour. And having beheld him shining with his brightness, just as the fire
“Yudhishthira said, ’O saint, whose sole wealth consists in religious practices! Tell me for what reason, Sagara, the foremost of kings, abandoned his own begotten son, endued with valour—an act so difficult (for all other men).’
“Lomasa said, ’A son was born to Sagara, known by the name of Asamanjas, he who was given birth to by the princess of Sivi. And he used to seize by throat the feeble children of the townsmen, and threw them while screaming into the river. And thereupon the townsmen, overwhelmed with terror and grief, met together, and all standing with joined palms, besought Sagara in the following way, “O great king! Thou art our protector from the dreaded peril of attack from a hostile force. Therefore it is proper for thee to deliver us from the frightful danger, proceeding from Asamanjas.” And the most righteous of the rulers of men, having heard this frightful news from his subjects, for nearly an hour remained sad and then spake to his ministers, saying, “This day from the city let my son Asamanjas be driven forth. If ye wish to do what will be acceptable to me, let this be quickly done.” And, O protector of men! those same ministers, thus addressed by the king, performed in a hurry exactly what the king had commanded them to do. Thus have I narrated to thee how the magnanimous Sagara banished his son, with a view to the welfare of the residents of the town. I shall now fully narrate to thee what Ansuman of the powerful bow was told by Sagara. Listen to me!
“’Sagara said, “O my boy! sore am I at heart for having abandoned thy father, on account of the death of my sons, and also on being unsuccessful in getting back the horse. Therefore, O grandson! harassed with grief and confounded with the obstruction to my religious rites as I am, thou must bring back the horse and deliver me from hell.” Thus addressed by the magnanimous Sagara, Ansuman went with sorrow to that spot where the earth had been excavated. And by that very passage he entered into the sea, and beheld that illustrious Kapila and that same horse. And having beheld that ancient saint, most righteous of his order, looking like a mass of light, he bowed with his head to the ground, and informed him of the reason of his visit. Then, O great king, Kapila was pleased with Ansuman, and that saint of a virtuous soul told him to ask for a favour from him. And he in the first place prayed for the horse, for the purpose of using it in the sacrifice; in the second place he prayed for the purification of his fathers. Then the mighty chief of saints, Kapila spake to him, saying, “I shall grant thee everything that thou desirest, O stainless (prince). May good luck be thine! In thee are fixed (the virtues of) forbearance, and truth, and righteousness. By thee hath Sagara had all his desires fulfilled. Thou are (really) a son to thy father. And by thy ability the sons of Sagara will go to heaven (i.e., will be delivered from the consequences of their unhallowed death). And the son of thy son, with a view to purifying the sons of Sagara, will obtain the favour of the great god Siva, (by means of practising great austerities), and will (thus) bring (to this world) the river that floweth in three (separate) streams, Ganga, O chief of men! May good luck be thine! Take thou with thee the sacrificial horse. Finish, my lad! the sacrificial rites of the magnanimous Sagara.” Thus addressed by the illustrious Kapila, Ansuman took the horse with him, and came back to the sacrificial yard of the mighty-minded Sagara. Then he fell prostrate at the feet of the high-souled Sagara, who smelt him on the head and narrated all the events to him, all that had been seen and heard by him, and likewise the destruction of Sagara’s sons. He also announced that the horse had been brought back to the sacrificial yard. And when king Sagara heard of this, he no more grieved on account of his sons. And he praised and honoured Ansuman, and finished those same sacrificial rites. His sacrifice finished, Sagara was greeted honourably by all the gods; and he converted the sea, Varuna’s dwelling place, into a son of himself. And the lotus-eyed (King Sagara) having ruled his kingdom for a period of exceeding length, placed his grandson on the throne, (full of) responsibilities and then ascended to heaven. And Ansuman likewise, O great king! virtuous in soul, ruled over the world as far as the edge of the sea, following the foot-prints of his father’s father. His son was named Dilipa, versed in virtue. Upon
“Lomasa said, ’That same king, of a powerful bow, standing at the head of the surrounding, (i.e., the occupant of an imperial throne) of a powerful car, (i.e., possessing every great fighting power) became the delight of the eyes and the soul of all the world. And he of the powerful arm came to learn how his forefathers had met an awful end from Kapila of mighty soul, and how they had been unable to attain the region of gods. And he with a sorrowful heart made over his kingly duties to his minister, and, O lord of men! for practising austerities, went to the side of the snowy Mountain (the Himalayas). And, O most praiseworthy of men, desirous of extinguishing his sins by leading an austere life, and (thereby) obtaining the favour of the (goddess) Ganga, he visited that foremost of mountains—Himalaya. And he beheld it adorned with peaks of diverse forms full of mineral earth; besprinkled on all sides with drops from clouds which were resting themselves upon the breeze; beautiful with rivers and groves and rocky spurs, looking like (so many) palaces (in a city); attended upon by lions and tigers that had concealed themselves in its caves and pits; and also inhabited by birds of checkered forms, which were uttering diverse sounds, such as the Bhringarajas, and ganders, and Datyuhas, and water-cocks, and peacocks and birds with a hundred feathers, and Jivanjivakas, and black birds, and Chakoras of eyes furnished with black corners, and the birds that love their young. And he saw the mountain abounding in lotus plants growing in delightful reservoirs of water. And the cranes rendered it charming with their sounds; and the Kinnaras and the celestial nymphs were seated on its stony slabs. And the elephants occupying the cardinal points had everywhere robbed its trees with the end of their tusks; and the demi-gods of the Vidyadhara class frequented the hill. And it was full of various gems, and was also infested by snakes bearing terrible poison and of glowing tongues. And the mountain at places looked like (massive) gold, and
“’Ganga said. “O great king! what dost thou desire of me? And what must I bestow on thee? Tell me the same, O most praiseworthy of men! I shall do as thou mayst ask me.” Thus addressed, the king then made his reply to Ganga, the daughter of the snowy Hill, saying, “O grantress of boons! O great river! my father’s fathers, while searching for the horse, were sent by Kapila to the abode of the god of death. And those same sixty thousand sons of Sagara of mighty soul, having met with the majestic Kapila, perished, (to a soul) in an instant of time. Having thus perished, there hath been no place for them in the region of heaven. O great river! So long as thou dost not besprinkle those same bodies with thy water, there is no salvation for these same Sagara’s sons. O blessed goddess! carry thou my forefathers, Sagara’s sons, to the region of heaven. O great river! on their account am I beseeching thee forsooth."’
“Lomasa said, ’Ganga, the goddess saluted by the world, having heard these words of the king, was well pleased, and spake to Bhagiratha the following words: “O great king! I am prepared to do what thou dost ask me; there is no doubt therein. But when I shall descend from the sky to the earth, the force of my fall will be difficult to sustain, O protector of men! In the three worlds there exists none who is able to sustain the same, excepting Siva, the most praiseworthy of gods, the great Lord with the throat of sable blue. O (prince) of a powerful arm! Obtain the favour, by practising austerities, of that same Siva—giver of boons. That same god will sustain my descent upon his head. Thy desire he will fulfill, the desire, namely, to be of service to thy fathers, O king!” Then the great king Bhagiratha having heard the same, went to the Kailasa hill, and betaking himself to a severe course of penances, at the expiration of a certain length of time obtained the favour of that worker of blessings (Siva). And, O protector of men! that same best of men, in order that his forefathers might have a place in heaven secured to them, received from that very Siva the fulfilment of his wish, namely the wish that the descending Ganga might be sustained.’”
“Lomasa said, ’The blessed God having heard what Bhagiratha had said, and with a view to doing what was agreeable to the residents of heaven, replied to the king, saying, “So let it be. O most righteous of the protectors of men, O (prince) of a powerful arm! For thy sake I shall sustain the river of the gods, when she will take her descent from the sky, she who is pure and blessed and divine, O (king) of a mighty arm!” Saying this, he came to the snowy mountain, surrounded by his attendants, of awful mien, and with uplifted weapons of diverse forms. And standing there, he said to Bhagiratha, the most praiseworthy of men, “O (prince) of a powerful arm! do thou pray to the river, the daughter of the king of mountains. I shall sustain that most praiseworthy of rivers when she falls down from the third region of the world (heaven).” Having heard these words uttered by Siva, the king became devout (in heart), made obesiance and directed his thoughts towards Ganga. Then the delightful (river), of pure water in being so thought of by the king, and seeing that the great lord (Siva) was standing (to receive her fall), came down all of a sudden from the sky. And seeing that she had taken her leap from the sky, the gods, together with the mighty saints, the Gandharvas, the snakes, and the Yakshas, assembled there as spectators. Then came down from the sky Ganga, the daughter of the snowy mountain. And her whirlpools were raging, and she was teeming with fishes and sharks. O king! she directing her course towards the sea, separated herself, into three streams; and her water was bestrewn with piles of froth, which looked like so many rows of (white) ganders. And crooked and tortuous in the movement of her body, at places; and at others stumbling as it were; and covered with foam as with a robe: she went forward like a woman drunk. And elsewhere, by virtue of the roar of her waters, she uttered loud sounds. Thus assuming very many different aspects, when she fell from the sky, and reached the surface of the earth, she said to Bhagiratha, “O great king! show me the path that I shall have to take. O lord of the earth! for thy sake have I descended to the earth.” Having heard these words, king Bhagiratha directed his course towards the spot where lay those bodies of mighty Sagara’s sons, in order that, O most praiseworthy of men, the holy water might flood (the same). Having achieved the task of sustaining Ganga, Siva, saluted by men, went to Kailasa the most praiseworthy of mountains, accompanied by the celestials. And the protector of men (Bhagiratha) accompanied by Ganga reached the sea; and the sea, the abode of Varuna, was quickly filled. And the king adopted Ganga as a daughter of himself, and at that spot offered libations of water to the names of his forefathers; thus was his heart’s wish fulfilled. Thus asked by thee, I have narrated the whole story how Ganga running in three streams, was brought down to the earth for filling the sea; how the mighty saint had drunk up the sea for a particular reason, and how, O lord! Vatapi, the slayer of Brahmanas, was destroyed by Agastya.’”
Vaisampayana said, “O chief of the Bharata race! then the son of Kunti went at a slow pace to the two rivers Nanda and Aparananda, which had the virtue of destroying the dread of sin. And the protector of men having reached the healthy hill Hemakuta, beheld there very many strange and inconceivable sights. There the very utterance of words caused the gathering of clouds, and a thousand volleys of stones. And people at its sight were struck sad, and were unable to ascend the hill. There the winds blew for aye, and the heavens always poured down rains; and likewise the sounds of the recitation of the sacred writ were heard, yet nobody was seen. In the evening and in the morning would be seen the blessed fire that carries offerings to the gods and there flies would bite and interrupt the practice of austerities. And there a sadness would overtake the soul, and people would become sick. The son of Pandu, having observed very many strange circumstances of this character again addressed his questions to Lomasa with reference to these wonderful things.
“Lomasa said, ’O slayer of foes! O king! I am going to tell thee as we heard it before; do thou attend to the same with intent mind. In this peak of Rishava, there was once a saint known by that name. And his life had lasted for many hundred years. And he was devoted to penances and was greatly wrathful. And he, forsooth, for having been spoken to by others, from wrath addressed the hill thus, “Whoever should utter any words here, thou must throw stones at him, and thou must call up the winds to prevent him from making any noise.” This was what the saint said. And so at this place, as soon as a man utters any words, he is forbidden by a roaring cloud. O king! thus these deeds were performed by that great saint, and from wrath he also forbade other acts. O king! tradition says that when the gods of yore had come to the Nanda, suddenly came over (there) a number of men to look at the celestials. Those same gods at whose head stood Indra did not, however, like to be seen; and so they rendered this spot inaccessible, by raising obstructions in the form of hills. And from that day forward, O Kunti’s son! men could not cast their eyes at any time on what looked like a hill, far less could they ascend the same. This big mountain is incapable of being seen by one who hath not led an austere life, nor can such a one ascend it. Therefore, O son of Kunti! keep thou thy tongue under control. Here at that time all those gods performed the best sacrificial rites. O Bharata’s son! Even up to this day these marks thereof may be seen. This grass here hath the form of the sacred kusa grass: the ground here seemeth to be overspread with the sacred grass; and, O lord of men! many of these trees here look like the spots for tying the sacrificial beasts. O Bharata’s son! still the Gods and saints have residence here; and their
“Lomasa said, ’This is the pure divine river by name Kausiki. O chief of Bharata’s race! and this is the delightful hermitage of Viswamitra, conspicuous here. And this is a hermitage, with a holy name, belonging to Kasyapa of mighty soul; whose son was Rishyasringa, devoted to penances, and of passions under control. He by force of his penances caused Indra to rain; and that god, the slayer of the demons Vala and Vritra, dreading him, poured down rain during a drought. That powerful and mighty son of Kasyapa was born of a hind. He worked a great marvel in the territory of Lomapada. And when the crops had been restored, king Lomapada gave his daughter Santa in marriage to him, as the sun gave in marriage his daughter Savitri.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’How was the son of Kasyapa, Rishyasringa, born of a hind? And how was he endowed with holiness, being the issue of a reprehensible sexual connexion? And for what reason was Indra, the slayer of the demons Vala and Vritra, afraid of that same sagacious boy, and poured down rain during a period of drought? And how beautiful was that princess Santa, pure in life, she who allured the heart of him when he had turned himself into a stag? And since the royal saint Lomapada is said to have been of a virtuous disposition, why was it that in his territory, Indra, the chastiser of the demon Paka, had withheld rain? O holy saint! all this in detail, exactly as it happened, thou wilt be pleased to narrate to me, for I am desirous of hearing the deeds of Rishyasringa’s life.’
“Lomasa said, ’Hear how Rishyasringa, of dreaded name, was born as a son to Vibhandaka, who was a saint of the Brahmana caste, who had cultured his soul by means of religious austerities, whose seed never failed in causing generation, and who was learned and bright like the Lord of beings. And the father was highly honoured, and the son was possessed of a mighty spirit, and, though a boy, was respected by aged men. And that son of Kasyapa, Vibhandaka, having proceeded to a big lake, devoted himself to the practice of penances. And that same saint, comparable to a god, laboured for a long period. And once while he was washing his mouth in the waters, he beheld the celestial nymph Urvasi—whereupon came out his seminal fluid. And, O king! a hind at that time lapped it up along with the water that she was drinking, being athirst; and from this cause
“Lomasa said, ’O descendant of Bharata! she in order to compass the object of the king, prepared a floating hermitage, both because the king had ordered so, and also because it exactly accorded with her plan. And the floating hermitage, containing artificial trees adorned with various flowers and fruits, and surrounded by diverse shrubs and creeping plants and capable of furnishing choice and delicious fruits, was exceedingly delightful, and nice, and pleasing, and looked as if it had been created by magic. Then she moored the vessel at no great distance from the hermitage of Kasyapa’s son, and sent emissaries to survey the place where that same saint habitually went about. And then she saw an opportunity; and having conceived a plan in her mind, sent forward her daughter, a courtesan by trade and of smart sense. And that clever woman went to the vicinity of the religious man and arriving at the hermitage beheld the son of the saint.
“’The courtesan said, “I hope, O saint! that is all well with the religious devotees. And I hope that thou hast a plentiful store of fruits and roots and that thou takest delight in this hermitage. Verily I come here now to pay thee a visit. I hope the practice of austerities among the saints is on the increase. I hope that thy father’s spirit hath not slackened and that he is well pleased with thee. O Rishyasringa of the priestly caste! I hope thou prosecutest the studies proper for thee.”
“’Rishyasringa said, “Thou art shining with lustre, as if thou wert a (mass) of light. And I deem thee worthy of obeisance. Verily I shall give thee water for washing thy feet and such fruits and roots also as may be liked by thee, for this is what my religion hath prescribed to me. Be thou pleased to take at thy pleasure thy seat on a mat made of the sacred grass, covered over with a black deer-skin and made pleasant and comfortable to sit upon. And where is thy hermitage? O Brahmana! thou resemblest a god in thy mien. What is the name of this particular religious vow, which thou seemest to be observing now?”
“’The courtesan said, “O son of Kasyapa! on the other side of yonder hill, which covers the space of three Yojanas, is my hermitage—a delightful place. There, not to receive obeisance is the rule of my faith nor do I touch water for washing my feet. I am not worthy of obeisance from persons like thee; but I must make obeisance to thee. O Brahmana! This is the religious observance to be practised by me, namely, that thou must be clasped in my arms.”
“’Rishyasringa said, “Let me give thee ripe fruits, such as gallnuts, myrobalans, Karushas, Ingudas from sandy tracts and Indian fig. May it please thee to take a delight in them!"’
“Lomasa said, ’She, however, threw aside all those edible things and then gave him unsuitable things for food. And these were exceedingly nice and beautiful to see and were very much acceptable to Rishyasringa. And she gave him garlands of an exceedingly fragrant scent and beautiful and shining garments to wear and first-rate drinks; and then played and laughed and enjoyed herself. And she at his sight played with a ball and while thus employed, looked like a creeping plant broken in two. And she touched his body with her own and repeatedly clasped Rishyasringa in her arms. Then she bent and broke the flowery twigs from trees, such as the Sala, the Asoka and the Tilaka. And overpowered with intoxication, assuming a bashful look, she went on tempting the great saint’s son. And when she saw that the heart of Rishyasringa had been touched, she repeatedly pressed his body with her own and casting glances, slowly went away under the pretext that she was going to make offerings on the fire. On her departure, Rishyasringa became over-powered with love and lost his sense. His mind turned constantly to her and felt itself vacant. And he began to sigh and seemed to be in great distress. At that moment appeared Vibhandaka, Kasyapa’s son, he whose eyes were tawny like those of a lion, whose body was covered with hair down to the tip of the nails, who was devoted to studies proper for his caste, and whose life was pure and was passed in religious meditation. He came up and saw that his son was seated alone, pensive and sad, his mind upset and sighing again and again with upturned eyes. And Vibhandaka spake to his distressed son, saying, “My boy! why is it that thou art not hewing the logs for fuel. I hope thou hast performed the ceremony of burnt offering today. I hope thou hast polished the sacrificial ladles and spoons and brought the calf to the milch cow whose milk furnisheth materials for making offerings on the fire. Verily thou art not in thy wonted state, O son! Thou seemest to be pensive, and to have lost thy sense. Why art thou so sad today? Let me ask thee, who hath been to this place today?"’”
“’Rishyasringa said, “Here came to-day a religious student with a mass of hair on his head. And he was neither short nor tall. And he was of a spirited look and a golden complexion, and endued with eye large as lotuses; and he was shining and graceful as a god. And rich was his beauty blazing like the Sun; and he was exceedingly fair with eyes graceful and black. And his twisted hair was blue-black and neat and long and of a fragrant scent and tied up with strings of gold. A beautiful ornament was shining on his neck which looked like lightning in the sky. And under the throat he had two balls of flesh without a single hair upon them and of an exceedingly beautiful form. And his waist was slender to a degree and his navel neat; and smooth also was the region about his ribs. Then again there shone a golden string from under his cloth, just like this waist-string of mine. And there was something on his feet of a wonderful shape which give forth a jingling sound. Upon his wrists likewise was tied a pair of ornaments that made a similar sound and looked just like this rosary here. And when he walked, his ornaments uttered a jingling sound like those uttered by delighted ganders upon a sheet of water. And he had on his person garments of a wonderful make; these clothes of mine are by no means beautiful like those. And his face was wonderful to behold; and his voice was calculated to gladden the heart; and his speech was pleasant like the song of the male blackbird. And while listening to the same I felt touched to my inmost soul. And as a forest in the midst of the vernal season, assumes a grace only when it is swept over by the breeze, so, O father! he of an excellent and pure smell looks beautiful when fanned by the air. And his mass of hair is neatly tied up and remains adhering to the head and forehead evenly sundered in two. And his two eyes seemed to be covered with wonderful Chakravaka birds of an exceedingly beautiful form. And he carried upon his right palm a wonderful globur fruit, which reaches the ground and again and again leaps up to the sky in a strange way. And he beats it and turns himself round and whirls like a tree moved by the breeze. And when I looked at him, O father! he seemed to be a son of the celestials, and my joy was extreme, and my pleasure unbounded. And he clasped my body, took hold of my matted hair, and bent down my mouth, and, mingling his mouth with my own, uttered a sound that was exceedingly pleasant. And he doth not care for water for washing his feet, nor for those fruits offered by me; and he told me that such was the religious observance practised by him. And he gave unto me a number of fruits. Those fruits were tasteful unto me: these here are not equal to them in taste. They have not got any rind nor any stone within them, like these. And he of a noble form gave me to drink water of an exceedingly fine flavour; and having drunk it, I experienced great pleasure; and the ground seemed to be moving
“’Vibhandaka said, “Those are, O son! Rakshasas. They walk about in that wonderfully beautiful form. Their strength is unrivalled and their beauty great. And they always meditate obstruction to the practice of penances. And, O my boy, they assume lovely forms and try to allure by diverse means. And those fierce beings hurled the saints, the dwellers of the woods, from blessed regions (won by their pious deeds). And the saint who hath control over his soul, and who is desirous of obtaining the regions where go the righteous, ought to have nothing to do with them. And their acts are vile and their delight is in causing obstruction to those who practise penance; (therefore) a pious man should never look at them. And, O son! those were drinks unworthy to be drunk, being as they were spirituous liquors consumed by unrighteous men. And these garlands, also, bright and fragrant and of various hues, are not intended for saints.” Having thus forbidden his son by saying that those were wicked demons, Vibhandaka went in quest of her. And when by three day’s search he was unable to trace where she was he then came back to his own hermitage. In the meanwhile, when the son of Kasyapa had gone out to gather fruits, then that very courtesan came again to tempt Rishyasringa in the manner described above. And as soon as Rishyasringa had her in sight, he was glad and hurriedly rushing towards him said, “Let us go to thy hermitage before the return of my father.” Then, O king! those same courtesans by contrivances made the only son of Kasyapa enter their bark, and unmoored the vessel. And by various means they went on delighting him and at length came to the side of Anga’s king. And leaving then that floating vessel of an exceedingly white tint upon the water, and having placed it within sight of the hermitage, he similarly prepared a beautiful forest known by the name of the Floating Hermitage. The king, however, kept that only son of Vibhandaka within that part of the palace destined for the females when of a sudden he beheld that rain was poured by the heavens and that the world began to be flooded with water. And Lomapada, the desire of his heart fulfilled, bestowed his daughter Santa on Rishyasringa in marriage. And with a view to appease the wrath of his father, he ordered kine to be placed, and fields to be ploughed, by the road that Vibhandaka was to take, in order to come to his son. And the king also placed plentiful cattle and stout cowherds, and gave the latter the following order:
“’"When the great saint Vibhandaka should enquire of you about his son, ye must join your palms and say to him that these cattle, and these ploughed fields belong to his son and that ye are his slaves, and that ye are ready to obey him in all that he might bid.” Now the saint, whose wrath was fierce, came to his hermitage, having gathered fruits and roots and searched for his son. But not finding him he became exceedingly wroth. And he was tortured with anger and suspected it to be the doing of the king. And therefore, he directed his course towards the city of Champa having made up his mind to burn the king, his city, and his whole territory. And on the way he was fatigued and hungry, when he reached those same settlements of cowherds, rich with cattle. And he was honoured in a suitable way by those cowherds and then spent the night in a manner befitting a king. And having received very great hospitality from them, he asked them, saying, “To whom, O cowherds, do ye belong?” Then they all came up to him and said, “All this wealth hath been provided for thy son.” At different places he was thus honoured by that best of men, and saw his son who looked like the god Indra in heaven. And he also beheld there his daughter-in-law, Santa, looking like lightning issuing from a (cloud). And having seen the hamlets and the cowpens provided for his son and having also beheld Santa, his great resentment was appeased. And O king of men! Vibhandaka expressed great satisfaction with the very ruler of the earth. And the great saint, whose power rivalled that of the sun and the god of fire, placed there his son, and thus spake, “As soon as a son is born to thee, and having performed all that is agreeable to the king, to the forest must thou come without fail.” And Rishyasringa did exactly as his father said, and went back to the place where his father was. And, O king of men! Santa obediently waited upon him as in the firmament the star Rohind waits upon the Moon, or as the fortunate Arundhati waits upon Vasishtha, or as Lopamudra waits upon Agastya. And as Damayanti was an obedient wife to Nala, or as Sachi is to the god who holdeth the thunderbolt in his hand or as Indrasena, Narayana’s daughter, was always obedient to Mudgala, so did Santa wait affectionately upon Rishyasringa, when he lived in the wood. This is the holy hermitage which belonged to him. Beautifying the great lake here, it bears holy fame. Here perform thy ablutions and have thy desire fulfilled. And having purified thyself, direct thy course towards other holy spots.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Then, O Janamejaya, the son of Pandu started from the river Kausiki and repaired in succession to all the sacred shrines. And, O protector of men, he came to the sea where the river Ganga falls into it; and there in the centre of five hundred rivers, he performed the holy ceremony of a plunge. Then, O ruler of the earth, accompanied by his brothers, the valiant prince proceeded by the shore of the sea towards the land where the Kalinga tribes dwell.
“Lomasa said, ’There is the land, O Kunti’s son, where the Kalinga tribes dwell. Through it passeth the river Vaitarani, on the banks whereof even the god of virtue performed religious rites, having first placed himself under the protection of the celestials. Verily, this is the northern bank, inhabited by saints, suitable for the performance of religious rites beautified by a hill, and frequented by persons of the regenerate caste. This spot (in holiness) rivals the path whereby a virtuous man, fit for going to heaven, repairs to the region inhabited by gods. And verily at this spot in former times, other saints likewise worshipped the immortals by the performance of religious rites. And at the very spot it was that the god Rudra, O king of kings, seized the sacrificial beast and exclaimed, “This is my share!” O chief of the descendants of Bharata, then when the beast was carried away by Siva, the gods spake to him saying, “Cast not a covetous glance at the property of others, disregarding all the righteous rules.” Then they addressed words of glorification of a pleasing kind to the god Rudra. And they satisfied him by offering a sacrifice, and paid him suitable honours. Thereupon he gave up the beast, and went by the path trodden by the gods. Thereupon what happened to Rudra, learn from me, O Yudhishthira! Influenced by the dread of Rudra, the gods set apart for evermore, the best allotment out of all shares, such as was fresh and not stale (to be appropriated by the god). Whosoever performs his ablutions at this spot, while reciting this ancient story, beholds with his mortal eyes the path that leads to the region of the gods.”
Vaisampayana said, “Then all the sons of Pandu and likewise the daughter of Drupada—all of whom were the favoured of Fate—descended to the river Vaitarani, and made libations to the names of their fathers.
“Yudhishthira said, ’O Lomasa, how great must be the force of a pious deed! Having taken my bath at this spot in a proper form, I seem to touch no more the region inhabited by mortal men! O saint of a virtuous life, I am beholding all the regions. And this is the noise of the magnanimous dwellers of the wood, who are reciting their audible prayers.’
“Lomasa said, ’O Yudhishthira, the place whence this noise comes and reaches thy ears is at the distance of three hundred thousand yojanas, to be sure. O lord of men, rest thou quiet and utter no word. O king, this is the divine forest of the Self-existent One, which hath now come to our view. There, O king, Viswakarma of a dreaded name performed religious rites. On the mighty occasion of that sacrifice, the Self-existent One made a gift of this entire earth with all its hilly and forest tracts, to Kasyapa, by way of gratuity, for ministering as a priest. And then, O Kuru’s son, as soon as that goddess Earth was giving away, she became sad at heart, and wrathfully spake the following words to that great lord, the ruler of the worlds, “O
Vaisampayana said, “Then when the ceremony for averting evil had been completed in his behalf, the magnanimous Yudhishthira went into the sea, and having performed all that the saint had bid, repaired to the skirts of the Mahendra hill, and spent the night at that spot.”
Vaisampayana said, “The protector of the earth spent there a single night, and with his brothers, paid the highest honours to the religious men. And Lomasa made him acquainted with the names of all of them, such as the Bhrigus, the Angiras, the Vasishthas, and the Kasyapas. And the royal saint paid visit to them all and made obeisance to them with joined palms. And then he asked the valiant Akritavrana, who was a follower of Parasurama, ’when will the revered Parasurama show himself to the religious men here? It is desired on that occasion to obtain a sight of the descendant of Bhrigu.’
“Akritavrana said, ’Thy journey to this spot is already known to Rama, whose soul spontaneously knows everything. And he is in every way well-pleased with thee, and he will show himself readily to thee. And the saints who practise penances here, are permitted to see him on the fourteenth and the eighth day of the lunar course. On the morrow at the end of this very night there will set in the fourteenth day of the lunar course. On that occasion thou wilt have a sight of him, clad in a sable deerskin, and wearing his hair in the form of a matted mass.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou hast been a follower of the mighty Rama, Jamadagni’s son; thou must, therefore, have been the eye-witness of all the deeds achieved by him in former days. I, therefore, request thee to narrate to me how the members of the military caste were vanquished by Rama on the field of battle, and what the original cause of those conflicts was.’
“Akritavrana said, ’With pleasure shall I recite to thee that excellent story, O Bharata’s son, O chief of kings, the story of the godlike deeds of Rama, the son of Jamadagni, who traced his origin to Bhrigu’s race. I shall also relate the achievements of the great ruler of the Haihaya tribe. That king, Arjuna by name, the mighty lord of the Haihaya tribe was killed by Rama. He, O Pandu’s son, was endued with a thousand arms; and by the favour of Dattatreya he likewise had a celestial car made of gold. And, O protector of the earth, his rule extended over the entire animated world, wheresoever located on this earth. And the car of that mighty monarch could proceed everywhere in an unobstructed course. And grown resistless by the virtue of a granted boon, he ever mounted on that car, trampled upon gods and Yakshas and saints on all sides round. And all the born beings wheresoever placed, were harassed by him. Then the celestials and the saints of a rigidly virtuous life, met together, and thus spake to Vishnu, the god of gods, the slayer of demons, and possessed of prowess that never failed, saying. “O blessed and revered lord, for the purpose of preserving all the born beings, it is necessary that Arjuna should be killed by thee.” And the mighty ruler of the Haihaya tribe placing himself on his celestial car, affronted Indra, while that deity was enjoying himself with Sachi, his queen. Then, O Bharata’s son, the blessed and the revered god (Vishnu) held a consultation with Indra, with a view to destroying Kartavirya’s son. And on that occasion, all that was for the good of the world of beings, was communicated by the lord of gods; and the blessed god worshipped by the world, to do all that was necessary, went to the delightful Vadari wood which was his own chosen retreat for practising penances. And at this very time there lived on the earth a mighty monarch in the land of Kanyakuvja, a sovereign whose military force was exceedingly great. And his name of Gadhi was famous in the world. He,
“Akritavrana said, ’Thus having given his word, O king, he went and said to Varuna, “Give me a thousand fleet steeds brown in colour, and each with one black ear. I want the same as dowry for my marriage.” To him Varuna forthwith gave a thousand steeds. Those steeds had issued out of the river Ganga; hence the spot hath been named, The horse’s landing place. And in the city of Kanyakuvja, the daughter of Gadhi, Satyavati by name, was given in marriage; and the gods themselves were of the party of the bride. Richika, the most excellent of the sacerdotal caste, thus procured a thousand steeds, and had a sight of the dwellers of heaven and won a wife in the proper form. And he enjoyed himself with the girl of slender waist, and thus gratified all the wishes and desire that he ever had. And when the marriage had been celebrated, O king, his father Bhrigu came on a visit to see him and his wife; and he was glad to see his praiseworthy son. And the husband and wife together paid their best respects to him, who was worshipped by all the gods. And when he had seated himself, they both with joined palms, stood near him, in order that they might do his bidding. And then the revered saint, Bhrigu, glad at heart, thus spoke to his daughter-in-law, saying, “O lovely daughter, as for a boon I am ready to grant thee any object of thy wish.” And there upon she asked for his favour in this, that a son might be born to both herself and her mother. And he vouchsafed the favour thus asked for.
“’Bhrigu said, “During the days that your season lasts, thou and thy mother must take a bath, with the ceremony for bringing forth a male child. And ye two must then separately embrace two different trees—she a peepal tree, and thou a fig tree. And, O dutiful girl, here are two pots of rice and milk, prepared by me with the utmost care. I having ransacked the whole universe to find the drugs, the essence whereof hath been blended with this milk and rice. It must
“Akritavrana said, ’Jamadagni devoted himself to the study of the Veda and the practice of sacred penances, and became famous for his great austerities. Then he pursued a methodical course of study and obtained a mastery over the entire Veda. And, O king, he paid a visit to Prasenajit and solicited the hand of Renuka in marriage. And this prayer was granted by the king. And the delight of Bhrigu’s race having thus obtained Renuka for his wife, took his residence with her in a hermitage, and began to practice penances, being assisted by her. And four boys were born of her, with Rama for the fifth. And although the youngest, Rama was superior to all in merit. Now once upon a time, when her sons had gone out for the purpose of gathering fruits, Renuka who had a pure and austere life, went out to bathe. And, O king, while returning home, she happened to cast her glance towards the king of Martikavata, known by the name of Chitraratha. The king was in the water with his wives, and wearing on his breast a lotus wreath, was engaged in sport. And beholding his magnificent form, Renuka was inspired with desire. And this unlawful desire she could not control, but became polluted within the water, and came back to
“’Rama said, “The blame is mine, O father, that like a stag in the wood, thou hast been shot dead with arrows, by those mean and stupid wretches—the sons of Kartavirya. And O father, virtuous and unswerving from the path of righteousness and inoffensive to all animated beings as thou wert, how came it to be permitted by Fate that thou shouldst die in this way? What an awful sin must have been committed by them, who have killed thee with hundreds of sharpened shafts, although thou wert an aged man, and engaged in penances at the time and absolutely averse to fighting with them. With what face will those shameless persons speak of this deed of theirs to their friends and servants, viz., that they have slain an unassisted and unresisting virtuous man?”—O protector of men, thus he, great in penance, bewailed much in a piteous manner, and then performed the obsequies of his departed sire. And Rama, the conqueror of hostile cities, cremated his father on the funeral pyre, and vowed, O scion of Bharata’s race, the slaughter of the entire military caste, and of exceeding strength in the field of battle, and possessed of valour suited to a heroic soul, and comparable to the god of death himself, he took up his weapon in wrathful mood, and singlehanded put Kartavirya’s sons to death. And, O chieftain of the military caste, Rama, the leader of all capable of beating their foes, thrice smote down all the Kshatriya followers of Kartavirya’s sons. And seven times did that powerful lord exterminate the military tribes of the earth. In the tract of land, called Samantapanchaka five lakes of blood were made by him. There the mightiest scion of Bhrigu’s race offered libations to his forefathers—the Bhrigus, and Richika appeared to him in a visible form, and spake to him words of counsel. Then the son of Jamadagni of dreaded name, performed a mighty sacrifice and gratified the lord of the celestials, and bestowed the earth to the ministering priests. And, O protector of human beings, he raised an altar made of gold,
Vaisampayana said, “Then on the fourteenth day of the moon, the mighty-souled Rama at the proper hour showed himself to those members of the priestly caste and also to the virtuous king (Yudhishthira) and his younger brothers. And, O king of kings, the lord together with his brothers, worshipped Rama, and, O most righteous of the rulers of men, the very highest honours were paid by him to all those members of the twice-born class. And after worshipping Jamadagni’s son and having received words of praise from him, at his direction he spent the night on the Mahendra hill, and then started on his journey towards the southern regions.”
Vaisampayana said, “The magnanimous monarch pursued his journey, and at different spots on the shore of the sea visited the various bathing places, all sacred and pleasant and frequented by men of the sacerdotal caste. And O son of Parikshit! He in proper form took his bath in them together with his younger brothers and then went to an excellent river, the holiest of all. There also the magnanimous king, took his plunge, and offered libations to his forefathers and the gods, and distributed riches to the leaders of the twice-born class. Then he went to the Godavari, a river that falls directly into the sea. There he was freed from his sins. And he reached the sea in the Dravida land, and visited the holy spot passing under Agastya’s name, which was exceedingly sacred and exceptionally pure. And the valiant king visited the feminine sacred spots. Here he listened to the story of that well-known feat which was achieved by Arjuna, chief of all wielders of the bow, and which was beyond the power of human beings to perform. And here he was praised by the highest members of the saintly class, and the son of Pandu experienced the greatest delight. And, O protector of the earth! the ruler of the world, accompanied by Krishna bathed in those holy spots, and speaking of Arjuna’s valour in laudatory terms delightfully spent his time in the place. Then he gave away thousands of cows at those holy spots on the coast of the sea; and with his brothers narrated well pleased how Arjuna had made a gift of kine. And he, O king! visited one by one those
Janamejaya said, “O thou of ascetic wealth! when the sons of Pandu and the Vrishnis reached the holy spot Prabhasa, what did they do and what conversation was held there by them, for all of them were of mighty souls, proficient in all the branches of science and both the Vrishnis and the sons of Pandu held one another in friendly estimation.”
Vaisampayana said, “When the Vrishnis reached the holy spot Prabhasa, the sacred landing-place on the coast of the sea, they surrounded the sons of Pandu and waited upon them. Then Valarama, resembling in hue the milk of the cow and the Kunda flower and the moon and the silver and the lotus root and who wore a wreath made of wild flowers and who had the ploughshare for his arms, spake to the lotuseyed one, saying, ’O Krishna, I do not see that the practice of virtue leads to any good or that unrighteous practices can cause evil, since the magnanimous Yudhishthira is in this miserable state, with matted hair, a resident of the wood, and for his garment wearing the bark of trees. And Duryodhana is now ruling the earth, and the ground doth not yet swallow him up. From this, a person of limited sense would believe a vicious course of life is preferable to a virtuous one. When Duryodhana is in a flourishing state and Yudhishthira, robbed of his throne, is suffering thus, what should people do in such a matter?—This is the doubt that is now perplexing all men. Here is the lord of men sprung from the god of virtue, holding fast to a righteous path, strictly truthful and of a liberal heart. This son of Pritha would give up his kingdom and his pleasure but would not swerve from the righteous path, in order to thrive. How is it that Bhishma and Kripa and the Brahmana Drona and the aged king, the senior member of the house, are living happily, after having banished the sons of Pritha? Fie upon the vicious-minded leaders of Bharata’s race! What will that sinner, the chieftain of the earth, say to the departed forefathers of his race, when the wretch will meet them in the world to come? Having hurled from the throne his in-offensive sons, will he be able to declare that he had treated them in a blameless way? He doth not now see with his mind’s eye how he hath become so sightless, and on account of what act he hath grown blind among the kings of this entire earth. Is it not because he hath banished Kunti’s son from his kingdom? I have no doubt that Vichitravirya’s
“Satyaki said, ’O Rama! this is not the time of lamentation; let us do that which is proper and suited to the present occasion, although Yudhishthira doth not speak a single word. Those who have persons to look after their welfare do not undertake anything of themselves; they have others to do their work, as Saivya and others did for Yayati. Likewise, O Rama! those who have appointed functionaries to undertake their work on their own responsibility, as the leaders of men, they may be said to have real patrons, and they meet with no difficulty, like helpless beings. How is it that when the sons of Pritha have for their patrons these two men, Rama and Krishna, and the two others, Pradyumna and Samva, together with myself,—these patrons being able to protect all the three worlds,—how is it that the son of Pritha is living in the wood with his brothers? It is fit that this very day the army of the Dasarhas should march out, variously armed and with checkered mails. Let Dhritarashtra’s sons be overwhelmed with the forces of the Vrishnis and let them go with their friends to the abode of the god of death. Let him alone who wields the bow made of the horn (Krishna), thou alone, if roused, wouldst be able to surround even the whole of this earth. I ask thee to kill Dhritarashtra’s son with all his men, as the great Indra, the lord of the gods killed Vritra. Arjuna, the son of Pritha, is my brother, and also my friend, and also my preceptor, and is like the second self of Krishna. It is for this that men desire for a worthy son, and that preceptor seeks a pupil who would contradict him not. It is for this that the time is come for that excellent work, which is the best of all tasks and difficult to perform. I shall baffle Duryodhana’s volleys of arms by my own excellent weapons. I shall overpower all in the field of battle. I shall in my wrath cut off his head with my excellent shafts, little inferior to snakes and poison and fire. And with the keen edge of my sword, I shall forcibly sever his head from the trunk, in the field of battle; then I shall kill his followers, and Duryodhana, and all of Kuru’s race. O son of Rohini! let the followers of Bhima look at me with joy at their heart, when I shall keep up the weapons of war in the field of battle, and when I shall go on slaying all the best fighting men on the side of the Kurus, as at the end of time fire will burn vast heaps of straw. Kripa and Drona and Vikarna and Karna are not able to bear the keen arrows shot by Pradyumna. I know the power of Arjuna’s son—he conducts himself like the son of Krishna in the field of battle. Let Samva chastise by the force of his arms Dussasana; let him destroy by force Dussasana and his charioteer and his car. In the field of battle when the son of Jamvavati becomes irresistible in fight, there is nothing which can withstand his force. The army of the demon Samvara was speedily
“Krishna said, ’O scion of the race of Madhu! no doubt what thou sayest is true; we accept thy words, O thou of courage that is never weak! But this bull of the Kuru race (Yudhishthira) would never accept the sovereignty of the earth, unless it were won by the prowess of his own arms. Neither for the sake of pleasure, nor from fear, nor from covetousness, would Yudhishthira ever renounce the rules of the caste; nor would these two heroes, who are mighty, when mounted on a car—Bhima and Arjuna; nor the twin brothers, nor Krishna, the daughter of Drupada. He possessing the appetite of a wolf (Bhima), and the winner of riches (Arjuna), are both unrivalled in fight throughout the world. And why should not this king rule over the entire world when he hath the two sons of Madri to espouse his cause? The high-souled ruler of Panchala together with the Kekaya king, and we also should put forth our united strength, and then would the enemies of Yudhishthira be annihilated.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’It is not strange that thou shouldst speak thus, O scion of Madhu’s race! but to me truth seems to be the first consideration, above that of my sovereign power itself. But it is Krishna alone who precisely knoweth what I am; and it is I alone who precisely know what Krishna (really) is. O thou endued with valour! O scion of Madhu’s race! as soon as he will perceive that the time is come for feats of bravery, then, O most valiant of Sini’s race, he also of beautiful hair (Krishna) will defeat Suyodhana. Let the brave men of the Dasarha race go back today. They are my patrons; and the foremost of human beings, they have visited me here. O ye of immeasurable strength! never fall off from the path of virtue. I shall see you again, when ye will be happily gathered together.’
“Then after mutual greeting and obeisance to seniors, and having embraced the youthful, those valiant men of the Yadu race and the sons of Pandu separated. And the Yadus reunited to their home; and the Pandavas continued their journey to the sacred spots. Then having parted with Krishna, the virtuous king, accompanied by his brothers and servants, and also by Lomasa, went to the sacred river Payosini. Its fine landing place was constructed by the king of Vidarbha. And he began to dwell on the banks of the Payosini, whose waters were mingled with the distilled Soma juice. There the high-souled Yudhishthira was greeted with excellent laudatory terms by numerous leaders of the twice-born class, who were delighted to see him there.”
“Lomasa said, ’O king! when the Nriga performed a sacrifice here, he gratified Indra, the demolisher of hostile cities, by offering the Soma juice. And Indra was refreshed and was very much pleased. Here the gods together with Indra, and the protectors of all born beings, celebrated sacrifices of various kinds on a large scale, and paid abundant gratuities to the ministering priests. Here king Amurtarayasa, the lord of the world, satisfied Indra, the holder of the thunderbolt, by the offer of the Soma juice, when seven horse-sacrifices were performed by that king. The articles which in other sacrificial rites are uniformly made of the timber, wood and of earth, were all made of gold in the seven sacrifices performed by him. And it is said that in all those rites, seven sets of stakes, rings for the sacrificial stakes, spots, ladles, utensils, spoons were prepared by him. On each sacrificial stake, seven rings were fastened at the top. And, O Yudhishthira! the celestials together with Indra, themselves erected the sacrificial stakes of shining gold which had been prepared for his sacred rites. In all those magnificent sacrifices instituted by Gaya, the protector of the earth, Indra, was delighted by drinking the Soma juice, and the ministering priests were gratified with the gratuities paid to them. And the priests
Vaisampayana said, “O most praiseworthy of men! Yudhishthira with his brothers performed ablutions in the Payosini river. Then, O sinless prince! the powerful monarch together with his brothers, journeyed to the hill of sapphires and the great river Narmada. The blessed saint Lomasa there named to him all the delightful holy spots and all the sacred shrines of the celestials. Then he with his brothers visited those places, according to his desire and convenience. And at various places Brahmanas by thousands received gifts from him.
“Lomasa said, ’O son of Kunti! one who visits the sapphire Hill and plunges his body in the river Narmada attains the regions inhabited by the celestials and kings. O most praiseworthy of men! this period is the junction between the Treta and the Kali age, O Kunti’s son! This is the period when a person gets rid of all his sins. O respected sir! this is the spot where Saryati performed sacrificial rites, wherein Indra appeared in a visible form and drank the Soma juice, with the two celestial physicians. And Bhrigu’s son of severe austerities conceived anger towards the great Indra; and the mighty Chyavana paralysed Indra, and for his wife obtained the princess, Sukanya.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’How was the chastiser of the demon Paka, the god possessed of the six attributes, paralysed by Chyavana? And for what reason did the mighty saint conceive wrath towards Indra? And how, O Brahmana! did he raise the celestial physicians to the rank of the drinkers of Soma? All this, precisely as it happened, thy venerable self will be pleased to recount to me.’”
“Lomasa said, ’A son was born to the great saint Bhrigu, Chyavana by name. And he, of an exceedingly resplendent form, began to practise austerities by the side of yonder lake. And, O Pandu’s son! O protector of men! he of mighty energy assumed the posture called Vira, quiet and still like an inanimate post, and for a long period, remained at the same spot of ground. And he was turned into an anthill covered over with creepers. And after the lapse of a long period, swarms of ants enveloped him. And covered all over with ants, the sagacious saint looked exactly like a heap of earth. And he went on practising austerities, enveloped on all sides with that ant-hill. Now after the lapse of a long space of time, that ruler of earth, Saryati by name, for amusement visited this pleasant and excellent lake. With him were four thousand females, espoused by him, O son of Bharata’s race! there was also his only daughter endued with beautiful brows, named Sukanya. She surrounded by her maids, and decked out with jewels fit for the celestials, while walking about, approached the anthill where Bhrigu’s son was seated. And surrounded by her maids, she began to amuse herself there, viewing the beautiful scenery, and looking at the lofty trees of the wood. And she was handsome and in the prime of her youth; and she was amorous and bent on frolicking. And she began to break the twigs of the forest trees bearing blossoms. And Bhrigu’s son endued with intelligence beheld her wandering like lightning, without her maids, and wearing a single piece of cloth and decked with ornaments. And seeing her in the lone forest, that ascetic of exceeding effulgence was inspired with desire. And that regenerate Rishi possessing ascetic energy, who had a low voice, called the auspicious one,—but she heard him not. Then seeing the eyes of Bhrigu’s son from the ant-hill, Sukanya from curiosity and losing her sense, said, “What is this?”—and with thorns pierced the eyes (of the Rishi). And as his eyes being pierced by her, he felt exceeding pain and became wroth. And (from anger) he obstructed the calls of nature of Saryati’s forces. And on their calls of nature being obstructed, the men were greatly afflicted. And seeing this state of things, the king asked. “Who is it that hath done wrong to the illustrious son of Bhrigu, old and ever engaged in austerities and of wrathful temper? Tell me quick if ye know it.” The soldiers (thereupon) answered him saying, “We do not know whether any one hath done wrong to the Rishi. Do thou, as thou list, make a searching enquiry into the matter.” Thereupon that ruler of earth, using (as he saw occasion) both menace and conciliation, asked his friends (about the circumstance). But they too did not know anything. Seeing that the army was distressed owing to the obstruction of the calls of nature, and also finding her father aggrieved,
“Lomasa said, ’Hearing the words of the sage, Saryati, without pausing, bestowed his daughter on the high-souled Chyavana. Having received the hand of that girl, the holy one was pleased with the king. And having won the Rishi’s grace, the king went to his city, accompanied by his troops. And the faultless Sukanya also having obtained that ascetic for her husband, began to tend him, practising penances, and observing the ordinance. And that one of a graceful countenance, and void of guile worshipped Chyavana, and also ministered unto guests, and the sacred fire.’”
“Lomasa said, ’Once on a time, O king, those celestials, namely the twin Aswins, happened to behold Sukanya, when she had (just) bathed, and when her person was bare. And seeing that one of excellent limbs, and like unto the daughter of the lord of celestials, the nose-born Aswins neared her, and addressed her, saying, “O thou of shapely thighs, whose daughter art thou? And what doest thou in this wood? O auspicious one, O thou of excellent grace, we desire to know this, do thou therefore tell us.” Thereupon she replied bashfully unto those foremost of celestials, “Know me as Saryati’s daughter, and Chyavana’s wife.” Thereat the Aswins again spake unto her, smiling. “What for, O fortunate one, hath thy father bestowed thee on a person who is verging on death? Surely, O timid girl, thou shinest in this wood like lightning. Not in the regions of the celestials themselves, O girl, have our eyes lighted on thy like. O damsel, unadorned and without gay robes as thou art, thou beautifiest this wood exceedingly. Still, O thou of faultless limbs, thou canst not look so beautiful, when (as at present) thou art soiled with mud and dirt, as thou couldst, if decked with every ornament and wearing gorgeous apparel. Why, O excellent girl in such plight servest thou a decrepit old husband, and one that hath become incapable of realising pleasure and also of maintaining thee, O thou of luminous smiles? O divinely beautiful damsel, do thou, forsaking Chyavana accept one of us for husband. It behoveth thee not to spend thy youth fruitlessly.”
“’Thus addressed Sukanya answered the celestials saying, “I am devoted to my husband, Chyavana: do ye not entertain any doubts (regarding my fidelity).” Thereupon they again spake unto her, “We two are the celestial physicians of note. We will make thy lord young and graceful. Do thou then select one of us, viz., ourselves and thy husband,—for thy partner. Promising this do thou, O auspicious one, bring hither thy husband.” O king, agreeably to their words she went to Bhrigu’s son and communicated to him what the two celestials had said. Hearing her message, Chyavana said unto his wife, “Do thou so.” Having received the permission of her lord, (she returned to the celestials) and said, “Do ye so.” Then hearing her words, viz., “Do ye so,” they spoke unto the king’s daughter. “Let thy husband enter into water.” Thereat Chyavana desirous of obtaining beauty, quickly entered into water. The twin Aswins also, O king, sank into the sheet of water. And the next moment they all came out of the tank in surpassingly beautiful forms, and young and wearing burnished earrings. And all, possessed of the same appearance pleasing to behold, addressed her saying, “O fortunate one, do thou choose one of us for spouse. And O beauteous one, do thou select him for lord who may please thy fancy.” Finding, however, all of them of the same appearance she deliberated; and at last ascertaining the identity of her husband, even selected him.
“’Having obtained coveted beauty and also his wife, Chyavana, of exceeding energy, well pleased, spake these words unto the nose-born celestials: “Since at your hands, an old man, I have obtained youth, and beauty, and also this wife of mine, I will, well pleased, make you quaffers of the Soma juice in the presence of the lord of celestials himself. This I tell you truly.” Hearing this, highly delighted, the twins ascended to heaven; and Chyavana and Sukanya too passed their days happily even like celestials.’”
“Lomasa said, ’Now the news came to Saryati that Chyavana had been turned into a youth. And well pleased he came, accompanied by his troops, to the hermitage of the son of Bhrigu. And he saw Chyavana and Sukanya, like two children sprung from celestials, and his joy and that of his wife were as great as if the king had conquered the entire world. And the ruler of earth together with his wife was received honourably by that saint. And the king seated himself near the ascetic, and entered into a delightful conversation of an auspicious kind. Then, O king, the son of Bhrigu spake to the king these words of a soothing nature: “I shall, O king, officiate at a religious ceremony to be performed by thee: let the requisite articles, therefore, be procured.” Thereat, that protector of earth Saryati, experienced the very height of joy, and O great king, he expressed his approbation of the proposal made by Chyavana.
“Lomasa said, ’When these very identical words were spoken again and again by the lord of celestials, the son of Bhrigu, setting Indra at naught, took up the offering he had intended to make. And as he was about to take up an excellent portion of the Soma juice with the object of offering it to the two Aswins, the destroyer of the demon Vala (Indra) observed his act, and thus spoke unto him, “If thou take up the Soma with a view to offering it to those celestials, I shall hurl at thee my thunderbolt of awful form, which is superior to all the weapons that exist.” Thus addressed by Indra, the son of Bhrigu, cast at Indra a smiling glance, and took up in due form a goodly quantity of the Soma juice, to make an offering to the Aswins. Then Sachi’s lord hurled at him the thunderbolt of awful form. And as he was about to launch it, his arm was paralysed by Bhrigu’s son. And having paralysed his arm, Chyavana recited sacred hymns, and made offering on the fire. His object gained, he now attempted to destroy that celestial. Then by the virtue of that saint’s ascetic energy, an evil spirit came into being,—a huge demon, Mada by name, of great strength and gigantic proportions. And his body was incapable of being measured either by demons or by gods. And his mouth was terrible and of huge size, and with teeth of sharpened edge. And one of his jaws rested on the earth, and the other stretched to heaven. And he had four fangs, each
“Lomasa said, ’When the god who had performed a hundred sacrifices (Indra) beheld the demon Mada of a frightful mien, coming towards him with open mouth, his intention being to devour him, and looking like the god of death himself, while his own arms remained paralysed, he through fear repeatedly licked the corners of his mouth. Then the lord of the celestials, tortured with fright, spake to Chyavana saying, “O Bhrigu’s son! O Brahmana! verily I tell thee as truth itself, that from this day forward the two Aswins will be entitled to the Soma juice. Be merciful to me! My undertaking can never come to naught. Let this be the rule. And I know, O saint of the sacerdotal caste! that thy work can never come to nothing. These two Aswins will have a right to drink the Soma juice, since thou hast made them entitled to the same. And, O Bhrigu’s son, I have done this but to spread the fame of thy powers, and my object was to give thee an occasion for displaying thy powers. My other object was that the fame of the father of this Sukanya here might spread everywhere. Therefore be merciful to me: let it be as thou wishest.” Being thus addressed by Indra, the wrath of Chyavana of mighty soul was quickly appeased, and he set free the demolisher of hostile cities (Indra). And the powerful saint, O king! distributed Mada (literally intoxication), and put it piece-meal in drinks, in women, in gambling, and in field sports, even this same Mada who had been created repeatedly before. Having thus cast down the demon Mada and gratified Indra with a Soma draught and assisted king Sarvati in worshipping all the gods together with the two Aswins and also spread his fame for power over all the worlds, the best of those endued with speech passed his days happily in the wood, in the company of Sukanya, his loving wife. This is his lake, shining, O king! and resounding with the voice of birds. Here must thou, together with thy uterine brothers, offer libations of water to thy forefathers and the gods. And, O ruler of earth! O scion of
“Yudhishthira said, ’O great Brahmana, how was that tiger among kings, Mandhata, Yuvanaswa’s son, born,—even he who was the best of monarchs, and celebrated over the three worlds? And how did he of unmeasured lustre attain the very height of real power, since all the three worlds were as much under his subjection, as they are under that of Vishnu of mighty soul? I am desirous of hearing all this in connection with the life and achievements of that sagacious monarch. I should also like to hear how his name of Mandhata originated, belonging as it did to him who rivalled in lustre Indra himself: and also how he of unrivalled strength was born, for thou art skilled in the art of narrating events.’
“Lomasa said, ’Hear with attention, O king! how the name of Mandhata belonging to that monarch of mighty soul hath come to be celebrated throughout all the worlds. Yuvanaswa, the ruler of the earth, was sprung from Ikshvaku’s race. That protector of the earth performed many sacrificial rites noted for magnificent gifts. And the most excellent of all virtuous men performed a thousand times the ceremony of sacrificing a horse. And he also performed other sacrifices of the highest order, wherein he made abundant gifts. But that saintly king had no son. And he of mighty soul and rigid vows made over to his ministers the duties of the state, and became a constant resident of the woods. And he of cultured soul devoted himself to the pursuits enjoined in the sacred writ. And once upon a time, that protector of men, O king! had observed a fast. And he was suffering from the pangs of hunger and his inner soul seemed parched with thirst. And (in this state) he entered the hermitage of Bhrigu. On that very night, O king of kings! the great saint who was the delight of Bhrigu’s race, had officiated in a religious ceremony, with the object that a son might be born to Saudyumni. O king of kings! at the spot stood a large jar filled with water, consecrated with the recitation of sacred hymns, and which had been previously deposited there. And the water was endued with the virtue that the wife of Saudyumni would by drinking the same, bring forth a god-like son. Those mighty saints had deposited the jar on the altar and had gone to sleep, having been fatigued by keeping up the night. And as Saudyumni passed them by, his palate was dry, and he was suffering greatly from thirst. And the king was very much in need of water to drink. And he entered that hermitage and asked for drink. And becoming fatigued, he cried in feeble voice, proceeding from a parched throat, which resembled the weak inarticulate utterance of a bird. And his voice reached nobody’s ears. Then the king beheld the jar filled with water. And he quickly ran towards it, and having drunk the water, put the jar down. And as the water was cool, and as the king had been suffering greatly from thirst, the draught of water relieved the sagacious monarch and appeased his thirst. Then those saints together with him of ascetic wealth, awoke from sleep; and all of them observed that the water of the jar had gone. Thereupon they met together and began to enquire as to who might have done it. Then Yuvanaswa truthfully admitted that it was his act. Then the revered son of Bhrigu spoke unto him, saying. “It was not proper. This water had an occult virtue infused into it, and had been placed there with the object that a son might be born to thee. Having performed severe austerities, I infused the virtue of my religious acts in this water, that a son might be born to thee. O saintly king of mighty valour and physical strength! a son would have been born to thee of exceeding strength
Vaisampayana said, “O scion of Bharata’s race! Kunti’s son, thus addressed by the mighty saint, Lomasa, immediately put fresh questions to him, with regard to Somaka.”
“Yudhishthira said, ’O best of speakers! what was the extent of power and strength possessed by king Somaka? I am desirous of hearing an exact account of his deeds and of his power.’
“Lomasa said, ’O Yudhishthira! there was a virtuous king Somaka by name. He had one hundred wives, O king, all suitably matched to their husband. He took great care, but could not succeed in getting a single son from any one of them, and a long time elapsed during which he continued a sonless man. Once upon a time, when he had become old, and was trying every means to have a son, a son was born to him, Jantu by name, out of that century of women. And, O ruler of men! All the mothers used to sit surrounding their son and every one giving him such objects as might conduce to his enjoyment and pleasure. And it came to pass that one day an ant stung the boy at his hip. And the boy screamed loudly on account of the pain caused by the sting. And forthwith the mothers were exceedingly distressed to see how the child had been stung by the ant. And they stood around him and set up cries. Thus there arose a tumultuous noise. And that scream of pain suddenly reached (the ears of) the sovereign of the earth, when he was seated in the midst of his ministers, with the family priest at his side. Then the king sent for information as to what it was about. And the royal usher explained to him precisely what the matter was with reference to his son. And Somaka got up together with his ministers and hastened towards the female apartments. And on coming there, O subjugator of foes! he soothed his son. And having done so and coming out from the female apartments, the king sat with his family priest and ministers.
“’Somaka then spoke thus, “Fie on having only a single son! I had rather be a sonless man. Considering how constantly liable to disease are all organized beings, to have an only son is but a trouble. O Brahmana! O my lord! With the view that I might have many sons born to me, this century of wives hath been wedded by me, after inspection, and after I had satisfied myself that they would prove suitable to me. But issue they have none. Having tried every means, and put forth great efforts, they have borne this single son, Jantu. What grief can be greater than this? O most excellent of the twice-born caste! I am grown old in years and so are my wives too. And yet this only son is like the breath of their nostrils, and so he is to me also. But is there any ceremony, by celebrating which one may get a hundred sons? (And if there is one such), tell me whether it is great or small, and easy or difficult to perform.”
“’The family priest said, “There is a ceremony by virtue of which a man may get a century of sons. If thou art able to perform it, O Somaka, then I shall explain it to thee.”
“’Somaka said, “Whether it be a good or an evil deed, the ceremony by which a hundred sons may be born, may be taken by thee as already performed. Let thy blessed self explain it to me.”
“’The family priest thereupon said, “O king! Let me set on foot a sacrifice and thou must sacrifice thy son, Jantu in it. Then on no distant date, a century of handsome sons will be born to thee. When Jantu’s fat will be put into the fire as an offering to the gods, the mothers will take a smell of that smoke, and bring forth a number of sons, valourous and strong. And Jantu also will once more be born as a self-begotten son of thine in that very (mother); and on his back there will appear a mark of gold."’”
“’Somaka said, “O Brahmana! whatever is to be performed—do precisely as it may be necessary. As I am desirous of having a number of sons, I shall do all that may be prescribed by thee."’
“Lomasa said, ’Then the priest officiated in the sacrifice in which Jantu was offered as the victim. But the mothers as in pity forcibly snatched the son and took him away. And they cried, “We are undone!” And they were smitten with torturing grief and they caught hold of Jantu by his right hand, and wept in a piteous way. But the officiating priest held the boy by the right hand and pulled him. And like female ospreys they screamed in agony! but the priest dragged the son, killed him, and made a burnt offering of his fat in the proper form. And, O delight of the race of Kuru! While the fat was being made an offering of the agonised mothers smelt its smell, and of a sudden fell to the ground (and swooned away.) And then all those lovely women became with child, and O lord of men! O scion of Bharata’s race! When ten months had passed a full century of sons was born to Somaka begotten
“’Dharmaraja thereat answered thus, “One cannot enjoy or suffer for another person’s acts. O best of speakers! these are the fruits of thy acts; see it here.”
“’Somaka said, “Without this Brahmana here, I desire not go to the blessed regions. My desire is to dwell in company with this very man, either in the abode of the gods, or in hell, for, O Dharmaraja! my deed is identical with what hath been done by him and the fruit of our virtuous or evil deed must be the same for both of us.”
“’Dharmaraja said, “O king! If this is thy wish, then taste with him the fruit of that act, for the same period that he must do. After that thou shall go to the blessed regions."’
“Lomasa said, ’The lotus-eyed king did all that exactly in the way prescribed to him. And when his sins were worked off, he was set free together with the priest. O king! Fond of the priest as he was, he won all those blessings to which he had entitled himself by his meritorious acts and shared everything with the family priest. This is his hermitage which looketh lovely before our eyes. Any one would attain the blessed regions, if he should spend six nights here controlling his passions. O king of kings! O leader of the tribe of Kurus! Here, free from excitement and self-controlled, we must spend six nights. Be thou ready therefor.’”
“Lomasa said, ’Here, O king! The lord of born beings himself performed a sacrifice in former times,—the ceremony called Ishtikrita, which occupied one thousand years. And Amvarisha, son of Nabhaga, sacrificed near the Yamuna river. And having sacrificed there, he gave away ten Padmas (of gold coins) to the attendant priests, and he obtained the highest success by his sacrifices and austerities. And, O Kunti’s son! This is the spot where that sovereign of the entire earth, Nahusha’s son, Yayati, of unmeasured force, and who led a holy life, performed his sacrificial rites. He competed with Indra and performed his sacrifice here.
Vaisampayana said, “Then that most praiseworthy of Pandu’s sons, there bathed with his brothers, while the mighty saints were uttering laudatory words to him. And he addressed the following words to Lomasa, ’O thou whose strength lieth in truthfulness! By virtue of this pious act, I behold all the worlds. And from this place, I behold that most praiseworthy of Pandu’s sons Arjuna, the rider of white steed.’
“Lomasa said, ’It is even so, O thou of powerful arms! The saints of the highest order thus behold all the regions. Behold this holy Saraswati here, thronged by persons who look upon her as their sole refuge. O most praiseworthy of men! having bathed here, thou wilt be free from all thy sins. O Kunti’s son! here the celestial saints performed sacrificial rites of Saraswata king: and so did the saints and the royal saints. This is the altar of the lord of beings, five yojanas in extent on all sides round. And this is the field of the magnanimous Kurus, whose habit it was to perform sacrifices.’”
“Lomasa said, ’O son of Bharata’s race! If mortals breathe their last at this spot, they go to heaven. O king! Thousands upon thousands of men come to this place to die. A blessing was pronounced on this spot by Daksha, when he was engaged in sacrifice here, (in these words), “Those men that shall die at this spot shall win a place in heaven.” Here is the beautiful and sacred river, Saraswati, full of water: and here, O lord of men, is the spot known as Vinasana, or the place where the Saraswati disappeared. Here is the gate of the kingdom of the Nishadas and it is from hatred for them that the Saraswati entered into the earth in order that the Nishadas might not see her. Here too is the sacred region of Chamashodbheda where the Saraswati once more became visible to them. And here she is joined by other sacred rivers running seawards. O conqueror of foes, here is that sacred spot known by the name of Sindhu—where Lopamudra accepted the great sage Agastya as her lord and, O thou whose effulgence is like unto that of the sun, here is the sacred tirtha called Prabhasa, the favoured spot of Indra and which removeth all sins. Yonder is visible the region of Vishnupada. And here is the delightful and sacred river, Vipasa. From grief for the death of his sons the great sage Vasistha had thrown himself into this stream, after binding his limbs. And when he rose from the water, lo! he was unfettered. Look, O king with thy brothers at the sacred region of Kasmeera, frequented by holy sages. Here, O scion of Bharata’s race, is the spot, where a conference took place between Agni and the sage Kasyapa, and also between Nahusha’s son and the sages of the north. And, O great prince, yonder is the gate of the Manasasarovara. In the midst of this mountain, a gap hath been opened by Rama. And here, O prince of prowess incapable of being baffled, is the well-known region of Vatikhanda, which, although adjacent to the gate of Videha, lieth on the north of it. And O bull among men, there is another very remarkable thing connected with this place,—namely, that on the waning of every yuga, the god Siva, having the power to assume any shape at will, may be seen with Uma and his followers. In yonder lake also people desirous of securing welfare
“’The hawk said, “All the kings of the earth represent thee as a pious ruler. Wherefore, O prince, has thou then stopped to perpetrate a deed not sanctioned by the ordinance? I have been sore afflicted with hunger. Do thou not withhold from me that which hath been appointed by the Diety for my food,—under the impression that thereby thou servest the interests of virtue, whereas in reality, thou wilt forsake it, (by committing thyself to this act).” Thereupon, the king said, “O best of the feathered race, afflicted with fear of thee, and desirous of escaping from thy hands, this bird, all in a hurry, hath come up to me asking for life. When this pigeon hath in such a manner sought my protection, why dost thou not see that the highest merit is even in my not surrendering it unto thee? And it is trembling with fear, and is agitated, and is seeking its life from me. It is therefore certainly blameworthy to forsake it. He that slayeth a Brahmana, he that slaughtered a cow—the common mother of all the worlds—and he that forsaketh one seeking for protection are equally sinful.” Thereat the hawk replied, “O lord of earth, it is from food that all beings derive their life, and it is food also that nourisheth and sustaineth them. A man can live long even after forsaking what is dearest to him, but he cannot do so, after abstaining from food. Being deprived of food, my life, O ruler of men, will surely leave this body, and will attain to regions unknown to such
“’The hawk said, “O great ruler of men, if thou hast conceived an affection for this pigeon, then cut off a portion of thine own flesh, and weigh it in a balance, against this pigeon. And when thou hast found it equal (in weight) to the pigeon, then do thou give it unto me, and that will be to my satisfaction.” Then the king replied, “This request of thine, O hawk, I consider as a favour unto me, and, therefore, I will give unto thee even my own flesh, after weighing it in a balance."’
“Lomasa said, ’Saying this, O mighty son of Kunti, the highly virtuous king cut off a portion of his own flesh, and placed it in a balance, against the pigeon. But when he found that pigeon exceeded his flesh in weight, he once more cut off another portion of his flesh, and added it to the former. When portion after portion had been repeatedly added to weigh against the pigeon, and no more flesh was left on his body, he mounted the scale himself, utterly devoid of flesh.
“’The hawk then said, “I am Indra, O virtuous king, and this pigeon is Agni, the carrier of the sacrificial clarified butter. We had come unto thy sacrificial ground, desirous of testing thy merit. Since thou hast cut off thy own flesh from thy body, thy glory shall be resplendent, and shall surpass that of all others in the world. As long as men, O king, shall speak of thee, so long shall thy glory endure, and thou shalt inhabit the holy regions.” Saying this to the king, Indra ascended to heaven. And the virtuous king Usinara, after having filled heaven and earth with the merit of his pious deeds, ascended to heaven in a radiant shape. Behold, O king, the residence of that noble-hearted monarch. Here, O king, are seen holy sages and gods, together with virtuous and highsouled Brahmanas.’”
“Lomasa said, ’See here, O lord of men, the sacred hermitage of Swetaketu, son of Uddalaka, whose fame as an expert in the sacred mantras is so widely spread on earth. This hermitage is graced with cocoanut trees. Here Swetaketu beheld the goddess Saraswati in her human shape, and spake unto her, saying, “May I be endowed with the gift of speech!” In that yuga, Swetaketu, the son of Uddalaka, and Ashtavakra, the son of Kahoda, who stood to each other in the relation of uncle and nephew, were the best of those conversant with the sacred lore. Those two Brahmanas, of matchless energy, who bore unto each other the relationship of uncle and nephew, went into the sacrificial ground of king Janaka and there defeated Vandin in a controversy. Worship, O son of Kunti, with thy brothers, the sacred hermitage of him who had for his grandson Ashtavakra, who, even when a mere child, had caused Vandin to be drowned in a river, after having defeated him in a (literary) contest."’
“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me, O Lomasa, all about the power of this man, who had in that way defeated Vandin. Why was he born as Ashtavakra (crooked in eight parts in his body)?’
“Lomasa said, ’The sage Uddalaka had a disciple named Kahoda of subdued passions, and entirely devoted to the service of his preceptor and who had continued his studies long. The Brahmana had served his tutor long, and his preceptor, recognising his service, gave him his own daughter, Sujata, in marriage, as well as a mastery over the Shastras. And she became with child, radiant as fire. And the embryo addressed his father while employed in reading, “O father, thou hast been reading the whole night, but (of all that) thy reading doth not seem to me correct. Even in my fetal state I have, by thy favour, become versed in the Shastras and the Vedas with their several branches. I say, O father, that what proceeds from thy mouth, is not correct.” Thus insulted in the presence of his disciples, the great sage in anger cursed his child in the womb, saying, “Because thou speakest thus even while in the womb, therefore
“’Ashtavakra said, “When no Brahmana is met with on the way, the way belongeth to the blind, the deaf, the women, carriers of burden, and the king respectively. But when a Brahmana is met with on the way, it belongeth to him alone.” Thereupon the king said, “I give the privilege to enter. Do thou, therefore, go in by whatever way thou likest. No fire ever so small is to be slighted. Even Indra himself boweth unto the Brahmanas.” At this Ashtavakra said, “We have come, O ruler of men, to witness thy sacrificial ceremony and our curiosity, O king, is very great. And we have come here as guests. We want the permission of thy order (to enter). And, O son of Indradyumna,
 This wheel is the wheel of Time—i.e., measured according to the solar, lunar and astral revolutions. The importance of Ashtavakra’s reply is this: May the meritorious deeds performed at proper times, during the revolution of this wheel of Time protect thee.
 Thunder and lightning or misery and death.
 Cloud or the mind.
 The male being that is ever conscious.
 The mundane egg.
 The soul that has renounced connection with the body.
 The heart of a Yogi.
“’The king said, “It seemeth, O possessor of divine energy, that thou art no human being. I consider thee not a boy, but a matured man; there is no other man who can compare with thee in the art of speech. I therefore give thee admittance. There is Vandin."’”
“’Ashtavakra said, “O king, O leader of fierce legions, in this assembly of monarchs of unrivalled power who have met together, I am unable to find out Vandin, chief of the controversialists. But I am searching for him, even as one doth for a swan on a vast expanse of water. O Vandin, thou regardest thyself as the foremost of controversialists. When though wilt engage with me in staking, thou wilt not be able to flow like the current of a river. I am like a full-flaming fire. Be silent before me, O Vandin! Do not awaken a sleeping tiger. Know that thou shalt not escape unstung, after trampling on the head of a venomous snake, licking the corners of its mouth with its tongue, and who hath been hurt by thy foot. That weak man who, in pride of strength, attempts to strike a blow at a mountain, only gets his hands and nails hurt, but no wound is left on the mountain itself. As the other mountains are inferior to the Mainaka, and as calves are inferior to the ox, so are all other kings of the earth inferior to the lord of Mithila. And as Indra is the foremost of celestials, and as the Ganga is the best of rivers, so thou alone art, O king, the greatest of monarchs. O king, cause Vandin to be brought to my presence."’
“Lomasa said, ’Saying this, O Yudhishthira, wroth with Vandin, Ashtavakra thus thundered in the assembly, and addressed him in these words, “Do thou answer my questions, and I shall answer thine.” Thereat Vandin said, “One only fire blazeth forth in various shapes; one only sun illumineth this whole world; one only hero, Indra, the lord of celestials, destroyeth enemies; and one only Yama is the sole lord of the Pitris." Ashtavakra said, “The two friends, Indra and Agni, ever move together; the two celestial sages are Narada and Parvata; twins are the Aswinikumaras; two is the number of the wheels of a car; and it is as a couple that husband and wife live together, as ordained by the deity." Vandin said, “Three kinds of born beings are produced by acts; the three Vedas together perform the sacrifice, Vajapeya; at three different times, the Adhwaryus commence sacrificial rites; three is the number of words: and three also are the divine lights." Ashtavakra said, “Four are the Asramas of the Brahmanas; the four orders perform sacrifices; four are the cardinal points; four is the number of letters; and four also, as is ever known, are the legs of a cow." Vandin said, “Five is the number of fires; five are the feet of the metre called Punki; five are the sacrifices; five locks, it is said in the Vedas, are on the heads of the Apsaras; and five sacred rivers are known in the world." Ashtavakra said. “Six cows, it is asserted by some, and paid as a gratuity on the occasion of establishing the sacred fire; six are the seasons belonging to the wheel of time; six is the number of the senses; six stars constitute the constellation Kirtika;
 Ashtavakra comes to Janaka’s sacrifice with the object of proving the unity of the Supreme Being. Vandin avails himself of various system of Philosophy to combat his opponent. He begins with the Buddhistic system. The form of the dialogue is unique in literature being that of enigmas and the latent meaning is in a queer way hid under the appearance of puerile and heterogeneous combinations of things.
Vandin opens the controversy
by saying that as the number of
each of these is one, so one only intellect is the lord, leader
and guide of the senses.
 There is a Vedic revelation that two birds live together on a tree as friends—one of these eats the fruits and the other looks at the former. From this it is manifest that two are the lords, leaders, and guides of the senses. That there is a second faculty besides the intellect is also proved by the fact that in sleep when the intellect is inactive that faculty continues in action, for if it were not so we could not remember having slept, nor connect the state after awaking with that preceding sleep. Accordingly by
Page 275citing the number two Ashtavakra assets that besides intellect there is another faculty—consciousness that these two are jointly the lords, leaders and guides of the senses and that they act together as Indra and Agni, etc.
 By citing the number three Vandin means to say that as it is Acts that produce the three kinds of born beings, etc., so Acts are supreme and that everything else be it intellect alone, or intellect and consciousness together is subservient to Acts.
 Ashtavakra here advances
the thesis that even if Acts be
supreme still when the (fourth) or Supreme Being becomes
manifest to the soul, it stands in no further needs to Acts.
 By bringing in the quinquennial series, Vandin wishes to assert that the five senses are competent to cognise there respective objects and that besides these senses and their objects there is neither any other sense to perceive nor any other object of perception. He also cites the authority of the Veda according to which the Apsaras (or consciousness) have five “locks” on their hands—i.e., five objects of perception.
 Besides the five senses
Ashtavakra contends for an
additional sense namely the Mind and accordingly cites the
 Vandin admits the existence
of the six senses but says that
the soul experiences happiness and misery through those as well
as through the intellect.
 Ashtavakra advances an
eighth element, namely, the
knowledge of the ego.
 Each of the three qualities (existence, foulness and ignorance) of prakriti (the passive or material cause of the world) mixing with each of the three corresponding qualities of pradhana (the active or spiritual cause of the world) in various proportions produces the mundane order of things. Thus is proved the eternity of prakriti or nature and is also established the doctrine of duality.
 Prakriti does not really create. It is the Supreme Being who through the medium of illusion in contract with the ten organs (viz., the five locomotive organs and the five organs of sense) makes manifest the system of things. Prakriti therefore has no real existence—her existence is only apparent in the real existence of the soul.
 Yupas (stakes) mean here,
feelings, etc, which keep men
bound to the world. Rudras are those who makes others cry.
Vandin means to say that the soul is not essentially free from the fetters of happiness and misery arising from the eleven objects of perception. In this world all men are subject to happiness and misery. We also hear that there are Rudras in heaven.
 The supreme soul unaffected by
Page 276happiness and misery really exists—but His existence is not susceptible of being proved—nor can the ignorant ever perceive Him. Men attain that condition through these twelve, viz., virtue, truth, self-restraint, penances, good-will, modesty, forgiveness, exemption from envy, sacrifice, charity, concentration and control over the senses.
 According to some, endeavours to attain emancipation can be successful not in this world but in the world of Brahma. Others say that to that end a special yoga is necessary. By bringing forward the objects numbering thirteen, Vandin advances the opinion that, virtue, etc., are not sufficient for purposes of emancipation but that suitable time and place are also essential.
“Lomasa said, ’Having proceeded thus far, Vandin stopped. Thereupon Ashtavakra supplied the latter half of the sloka. Ashtavakra said, “Thirteen sacrifices are presided over by Kesi; and thirteen are devoured by Atichhandas, (the longer metres) of the Veda." And seeing Ashtavakra speaking and the Suta’s son silent, and pensive, and with head downcast, the assembly broke into a long uproar. And when the tumult thus arose in the splendid sacrifice performed by king Janaka, the Brahmanas well pleased, and with joined hands, approached Ashtavakra, and began to pay him homage.
 Ashtavakra concludes by citing the same number thirteen. The soul which is essentially unaffected, becomes subject to happiness and misery through the thirteen, viz., the ten organs of locomotion and sense, and intellect mind and egoism. But Atichhanadas, i.e., those that have surmounted ignorance, namely, the twelve, virtue, etc. destroy those thirteen and that is emancipation.
“’Thereupon Ashtavakra said, “Before this, this man, defeating the Brahmanas in controversy, used to cast them into water. Let Vandin today meet with the same fate. Seize him and drown him in water.” Vandin said. “O Janaka, I am the son of king Varuna. Simultaneously with thy sacrifice, there also hath commenced a sacrifice extending over twelve years. It is for this that I have despatched the principal Brahmanas thither. They have gone to witness Varuna’s sacrifice. Lo! there they are returning. I pay homage to the worshipful Ashtavakra, by whose grace to-day I shall join him who hath begot me.”
“’Ashtavakra said, “Defeating the Brahmanas either by words or subtlety. Vandin had cast them into the waters of the sea. (That Vedic truth which he had suppressed by false arguments), have I to-day rescued by dint of my intellect. Now let candid men judge. As Agni, who knoweth the character of both the good and the bad, leaveth unscorched by his heat the bodies of those whose designs are honest, and is thus partial to them, so good men judge the assertions of boys, although lacking the power of speech, and are favourably disposed towards them. O Janaka, thou hearest my words as if thou hast been stupefied in consequence of having eaten the fruit of the Sleshmataki tree. Or flattery hath robbed thee of thy sense, and for this it is that although pierced by my words as an elephant (by the hook), thou hearest them not.”
“’Janaka said, “Listening to thy words, I take them to be excellent and superhuman. Thy form also standeth manifest as superhuman. As thou hast to-day defeated Vandin in discussion, I place even him at thy disposal.” Ashtavakra said, “O king, Vandin remaining alive, will not serve any purpose of mine. If his father be really Varuna, let him be drowned in the sea.” Vandin said, “I am King Varuna’s son. I have no fear (therefore) in being drowned. Even at this moment. Ashtavakra shall see his long-lost sire, Kahoda."’
“Lomasa said, ’Then rose before Janaka all the Brahmanas, after having been duly worshipped by the magnanimous Varuna. Kahoda said, “It is for this, O Janaka, that men pray for sons, by performing meritorious acts. That in which I had failed hath been achieved by my son. Weak persons may have sons endued with strength; dunces may have intelligent sons; and the illiterate may have sons possessed of learning.” Vandin said, “It is with thy sharpened axe, O monarch, that even Yama severeth the heads of foes. May prosperity attend thee! In this sacrifice of king Janaka, the principal hymns relating to the Uktha rites are being chanted, and the Soma juice also is being adequately quaffed. And the gods themselves, in person, and with cheerful hearts, are accepting their sacred shares."’
“Lomasa said, ’When in enhanced splendour, the Brahmanas had risen up, Vandin, taking king Janaka’s permission, entered into the waters of the sea. And then Ashtavakra worshipped his father, and he himself also was worshipped by the Brahmanas. And having thus defeated the Suta’s son, Ashtavakra returned to his own excellent hermitage, in company with his uncle. Then in the presence of his mother, his father addressed him, saying, “(O son), thou speedily enter into this river, Samanga.” And accordingly, he entered (into the water). (And as he plunged beneath the water), all his (crooked) limbs were immediately made straight. And from that day that river came to be called Samanga and she became invested with the virtues of purifying (sins). He that shall bathe in her, will be freed from his sins. Therefore, O Yudhishthira, do thou with thy brothers and wife descend to the river, and perform thy ablutions. O Kunti’s son, O scion of the Ajamidha race, living happily and cheerfully at this place together with thy brothers and the Brahmanas, thou wilt perform with me other acts of merit, being intent upon good deeds.’”
 Su means excellent,
and uta, sacrifice. The
compound accordingly means,—performer of excellent sacrifice.
“Lomasa said, ’Here, O king, is visible the river Samanga, whose former name was Madhuvila, and yonder is the spot named Kardamila, the bathing place of Bharata. The lord of Sachi, when fallen into misery in consequence of having slain Vritra, became freed from his sin, by performing his ablutions in this Samanga. Here, O bull among men, is the spot where the Mainaka mountain hath sunk into the interior of the earth; and it is hence called Vinasana. For obtaining sons, here Aditi in days of yore had cooked that celebrated food, (presided over by the Supreme Being). O ye bulls among men, ascend this lofty mountain and put an end to your inglorious misery unworthy to be uttered. Here, O king, before thee is the Kanakhala range, the favourite resort of sages. And yonder is the mighty river Ganga. Here, in ancient times, the holy sage Sanatkumara attained ascetic success. O scion of the Ajamidha race, by performing thy ablutions here in this river, thou wilt be freed from all thy sins. O son of Kunti, do thou together with thy ministers, touch (the waters) of this lake called Punya, and this mountain Bhrigutunga and also (the water of) these two rivers, called Tushniganga. Here, O Kunti’s son, appeareth the hermitage of the sage Sthulasiras. Resign here thy anger and sense of self-importance. There, O son of Pandu, is seen the beautiful hermitage of Raivya, where perished Bharadwaja’s son, Yavakari, profound in Vedic lore.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’How did the mighty sage, Yavakri, son of the ascetic Bharadwaja, acquire profoundity in the Vedas? And how also did he perish? I am anxious to hear all this, just as it happened. I take delight in listening to the narration of the deeds of god-like men.’
“Lomasa said, ’Bharadwaja and Raivya were two friends. And they dwelt here, ever taking the greatest pleasure in each other’s company. Now, Raivya had two sons, named Arvavasu and Paravasu. And, Bharadwaja, O Bharata’s son, had an only son, named Yavakri. Raivya and his two sons were versed in the Vedas, while Bharadwaja practised asceticism. But, O son of Bharata, from their boyhood, the friendship subsisting between those two was unequalled. O sinless one, the highspirited Yavakri finding that his father, who practised asceticism, was slighted by the Brahmanas, while Raivya with his sons was greatly respected by them, was overwhelmed with sorrow, and became sore aggrieved. Thereupon, O son of Pandu, he entered upon severe austerities, for (obtaining) a knowledge of the Vedas. And he exposed his body to a flaming fire. By thus practising the most rigid austerities, he caused anxiety in the mind of Indra. Then Indra, O Yudhishthira, went to him and addressed him saying, “Wherefore, O sage, hast thou become engaged in practising such rigid austerities?” Yavakri said, “O thou adored of celestial hosts, I am practising severe penances, because I wish that such a knowledge of the Vedas as hath never been acquired by any Brahmana whatever,
“Lomasa said, ’O son of Bharata, having said this, Sakra went away, and Yavakri of immeasurable energy, once more directed his attention to asceticism. O king, we have heard that carrying on severe austerities he again greatly agitated Indra. And the god Indra, slayer of Vala, again came unto that great sage, who was engaged in austere penances; and forbade him, saying, “Thou art striving with the object that Vedic lore may be manifest unto thee as well as unto thy father; but thy exertions can never be successful, nor is this act of thine well-advised.” Yavakri said, “O lord of the celestials, if thou wilt not do for me what I want, I shall, observing stricter vows, practise still severer penances. O lord of celestials! know that if thou do not fulfil all my desires, I shall then cut off my limbs and offer them as a sacrifice into a blazing fire."’
“Lomasa said, ’Knowing the determination of that high-souled sage, the sagacious Indra reflected and hit upon some expedient to dissuade him. Then Indra assumed the guise of an ascetic Brahmana, hundreds of years old, and infirm, and suffering from consumption. And he fell to throwing up a dam with sands, at that spot of the Bhagirathi to which Yavakri used to descend for performing ablutions. Because Yavakri, chief of the Brahmanas, paid no heed to Indra’s words, the latter began to fill the Ganga with sands. And without cessation, he threw handfuls of sand into the Bhagirathi, and began to construct the dam attracting the notice of the sage. And when that bull among the sages, Yavakri, saw Indra thus earnestly engaged in constructing the dam, he broke into laughter, and said the following words, “What art thou engaged in, O Brahmana, and what is thy object? Why dost thou, for nothing, make this mighty endeavour?” Indra said, “I am trying, O my son, to dam the Ganga so that there may be a commodious passage. People experience considerable difficulty in crossing and recrossing (the river) by boat.” Yavakri said, “O thou of ascetic wealth, thou canst not dam up this mighty current. O Brahmana, desist from, what is impracticable, and take up something that is practicable.” Indra said, “O sage, I have imposed on myself this heavy task, even as, for obtaining a knowledge of the Vedas, thou hast begun these penances, which can never be fruitful.” Yavakri said, “If, O chief of the celestials, those efforts of mine be fruitless, even as those of thy own, then, O lord of heavenly hosts, be thou pleased to do for me what is practicable. Vouchsafe unto me boons whereby I may excel other men."’
“Lomasa said ’Then Indra granted boons, as was prayed for by the mighty ascetic, Indra said, “As thou desirest, the Vedas will be manifest unto thee, yea—even unto thy father. And all thy other desires will also be fulfilled. Return home, O Yavakri.”
“’Having thus obtained the object of his desire, Yavakri came unto his father and said, “The Vedas, O father, will be manifest unto thee as well as unto myself and I have obtained boons whereby we shall excel all men.” Thereat Bharadwaja said, “O my son, as thou hast obtained the objects of thy desire, thou wilt be proud. And when thou art puffed up with pride and hast also become uncharitable, destruction will soon overtake thee. O my son, there is a current anecdote narrated by the gods. In ancient times, O son, there lived a sage named Valadhi, possessed of great energy. And in grief for the death of a child, he practised the severest penances to have a child that should be immortal. And he obtained a son even as he desired. But the gods, though very favourably disposed (towards him), did not yet make his son immortal like unto the gods. They said, “On condition can a mortal being be made immortal. Thy son’s life, however, shall depend on some instrumental cause.” Thereupon, Valadhi said, “O chiefs of the celestials, these mountains have been existing eternally, and indestructible, let them be the instrumental cause of my son’s life.” Afterwards a son was born to the sage, named Medhavi. And he was of a very irritable temper. And hearing of (the incident of his birth), he grew haughty, and began to insult the sages. And he ranged over the earth, doing mischief to the munis. And one day, meeting with the learned sage Dhannushaksha endued with energy, Medhavi maltreated him. Thereupon, the former cursed him, saying, “Be thou reduced to ashes.” Medhavi, however, was not reduced to ashes. Then Dhannushaksha caused the mountain which was the instrumental cause of Medhavi’s life, to be shattered by buffaloes. And the boy perished, with the destruction of the instrumental cause of his life. And embracing his dead son, Medhavi’s father began to bewail his fate. Now hear from me, O my son, what was chanted by the sages conversant with the Vedas, when they found the sage mourning. A mortal on no condition whatever can overcome what hath been ordained by Fate. Lo! Dhannushaksha succeeded in shattering even the mountain by buffaloes. Thus young ascetics, puffed up with pride for having obtained boons, perish in a short time. Be thou not one of them. This Raivya, O my son, is possessed of great energy, and his two sons are like him. Therefore, be thou vigilant—so as never to approach him. O my son, Raivya is a great ascetic of an irritable temper. When angry, he can do thee harm.” Yavakri said, “I shall do as thou biddest me. Oh father, do thou not by any means entertain anxiety for that. Raivya deserveth my regard even as thou, my father.” Having replied unto his father in these sweet words, Yavakri, fearing nothing and nobody, began to delight in wantonly offending other munis.’”
“Lomasa said, ’One day in the month of Chaitra, while fearlessly wandering at large, Yavakri approached the hermitage of Raivya. And O son of Bharata, in that beautiful hermitage, adorned with trees bearing blossoms, he happened to behold the daughter-in-law of Raivya, sauntering about like a Kinnara woman. And having lost his senses through passion, Yavakri shamelessly spake unto the bashful maiden, saying, “Be thou attached unto me.” Thereupon, knowing his nature, and afraid of a curse, as well as thinking of Raivya’s power, she went unto him saying, “I agree.” Then, O son of Bharata, taking him in private, she kept him chained. O conqueror of foes, returning to his hermitage, Raivya found his daughter-in-law, Paravasu’s wife, in tears. O Yudhishthira, thereat consoling her with soft words, he enquired of her as to the cause of her grief. Thereupon, the beautiful damsel told him all that Yavakri had said unto her, and what she also had cleverly said unto him. Hearing of this gross misbehaviour of Yavakri, the mind of the sage flamed up, and he waxed exceedingly wroth. And being thus seized with passion, the great sage of a highly irascible temper, tore off a matted lock of his hair, and with holy mantras, offered it as a sacrifice on the sacred fire. At this, there sprang out of it a female exactly resembling his daughter-in-law. And then he plucked another matted lock of his hair, and again offered it as a sacrifice into the fire. Thereupon sprang out of it a demon, terrible to behold, and having fierce eyes. Then those two spake unto Raivya, saying, “What shall we do?” Thereat, the angry sage said unto them, “Go and kill Yavakri.” Then saying, “We shall do (as thou biddest)”—they two went away with the intention of slaying Yavakri. And with her charms, the female whom the large-hearted sage had created, robbed Yavakri of his sacred water-pot. Then with his uplifted spear the demon flew at Yavakri, when he had been deprived of his water-pot and rendered unclean. And seeing the demon approach with uplifted spear for the purpose of slaying him, Yavakri rose up all on a sudden and fled towards a tank. But finding it devoid of water, he hurried towards all the rivers. But they too were all dried up. And being obstructed again and again by the fierce demon, holding the spear, Yavakri in fright attempted to enter into the Agnihotra room of his father. But there, O king, he was repulsed by a blind Sudra warder, and he remained at the door, grasped by the man. And, finding Yavakri thus grasped by the Sudra, the demon hurled his spear at him, and thereupon he fell down dead, pierced in the heart. After slaying Yavakri, the demon went back to Raivya, and with the permission of that sage, began to live with the female.’”
“Lomasa said, ’O son of Kunti, Bharadwaja returned to his hermitage after performing the ritual duties of the day, and having collected the sacrificial fuel. And because his son had been slain, the sacrificial fires which used to welcome him everyday, did not on that day come forward to welcome him. And marking this change in the Agnihotra, the great sage asked the blind Sudra warder seated there, saying, “Why is it, O Sudra, that the fires rejoice not at sight of me? Thou too dost not rejoice as is thy wont. Is it all well with my hermitage? I hope that my son of little sense had not gone to the sage Raivya. Answer speedily, O Sudra, all these questions of mine. My mind misgiveth me.” The Sudra said, “Thy son of little sense had gone to the sage Raivya, and therefore it is that he lieth prostrate (on the ground), having been slain by a powerful demon. Being attacked by the Rakshasa, holding a spear, he attempted to force his way into this room, and I therefore barred his way with my arms. Then desirous of having water in an unclean state, as he stood hopeless, he was slain by the vehement Rakshasa, carrying a spear in his hand.” On hearing from the Sudra of this great calamity, Bharadwaja, sorely afflicted with grief, began to lament, embracing his dead son. And he said, “O my son, it is for the good of the Brahmanas that thou didst practise penances, with the intention that the Vedas unstudied by any Brahmana whatever might be manifest unto thee. Thy behaviour towards the Brahmanas had always been for their good, and thou hadst also been innocent in regard to all creatures. But, alas! (at last) thou didst lapse into rudeness. I had prohibited thee, O my son, from visiting the residence of Raivya; but alas! to that very hermitage, (destructive to thee) as the god of death himself, Yama, didst thou repair. Evil-minded is that man, who, (knowing that) I am an old man, and also that (Yavakri) was my only son, had given way to wrath. It is through the agency of Raivya that I have sustained the loss of my child. Without thee, O my son, I shall give up my life, the most precious thing in the world. In grief for the death of my son, I renounce my life; but this I say that Raivya’s eldest son shall in a short time kill him although he be innocent. Blessed are those to whom children have never been born, for they lead a happy life, without having to experience the grief (incident to the death of a child). Who in this world can be more wicked than those who from affliction, and deprived of their sense by sorrow consequent upon the death of a child, curse even their dearest friend! I found my son dead, and, therefore, have cursed my dearest friend. Ah! what second man can there be in this world, destined to suffer so grievous a misfortune!” Having lamented long Bharadwaja cremated his son and then himself entered into a full-blazing fire.’”
“Lomasa said, ’At that very time, the mighty king, Vrihadyumna, of high fortune, who was the Yajamana of Raivya, commenced a sacrifice. And the two sons of Raivya, Arvavasu and Paravasu, were engaged by that intelligent monarch, to assist him in the performance of the ceremony. And, O son of Kunti, taking the permission of their father, they two went to the sacrifice, while Raivya with Paravasu’s wife remained in the hermitage. And it came to pass that one day, desirous of seeing his wife, Paravasu returned home alone. And he met his father in the wood, wrapped in the skin of a black antelope. And the night was far advanced and dark; and Paravasu, blinded by drowsiness in that deep wood, mistook his father for a straggling deer. And mistaking him for a deer, Paravasu, for the sake of personal safety, unintentionally killed his father. Then, O son of Bharata, after performing the funeral rites (of his father), he returned to the sacrifice and there addressed his brother saying, “Thou wilt never be able to perform this task unassisted. I again, have killed our father, mistaking him for a deer. O brother, for me do thou observe a vow, prescribed in the case of killing a Brahmana. O Muni, I shall be able to perform this work (sacrifice), without any assistant.” Arvavasu said, “Do thou then thyself officiate at this sacrifice of the gifted Vrihadyumna; and for thee will I, bringing my senses under perfect control, observe the vow prescribed in the case of slaying a Brahmana."’
“Lomasa said, ’Having observed the vow relative to the killing of a Brahmana, the sage Arvavasu came back to the sacrifice. Seeing his brother arrive, Paravasa, in accents choked with malice, addressed Vrihadyumna, saying, “O king, see that this slayer of a Brahmana enter not into thy sacrifice, nor look at it. Even by a glance, the killer of a Brahmana can, without doubt, do thee harm.” O lord of men, immediately on hearing this, the king ordered his attendants (to turn out Arvavasu). O king, on being driven out by the king’s attendants, and repeatedly addressed by them—“O slayer of a Brahmana”—Arvavasu more than once cried, “It is not I that have killed a Brahmana.” Nor did he own that he had observed the vow for his own sake. He said that his brother had committed the sin, and that he had freed him therefrom. Having said this in anger, and being reprimanded by the attendants, the Brahmana sage of austere penances, retired in silence into the woods. There betaking himself to the severest penances, the great Brahmana sought the protection of the Sun. Thereupon, the revelation teaching the mantra relative to the worship of the Sun, became manifest unto him and that eternal deity who obtaineth his share (of the sacrificial butter) first, appeared before him in an embodied form.’
“Lomasa said, ’The celestials, O king, were well pleased with Arvavasu for his acts. And they made him engaged as the chief priest in the sacrifice (of Vrihadyumna), and Paravasu to be dismissed from it. Then Agni and the other celestials (of their own accord) bestowed boons on Arvavasu. And they also prayed that his father might be restored to life. He further prayed that his brother might be absolved from his sin; that his father might have no recollection of his having been slain; that Bharadwaja and Yavakri might both be restored to life; and that the solar revelation might attain celebrity (on earth). Then the god said, “So be it,” and conferred on him other boons also. Thereat, O Yudhishthira, all of these persons regained their life. Yavakri now addressed Agni and the other deities, saying, “I had obtained a knowledge of all the Vedas, and also practised penances. How came it then, O chiefs of the immortals, that Raivya succeeded in killing me in that way?” Thereupon the gods said, “O Yavakri, never act again as those have done. What thou askest about is quite possible, for thou hast learnt the Vedas without exertion, and without the help of a preceptor. But this man (Raivya) bearing various troubles, had satisfied his preceptor by his conduct, and obtained (from the latter) the excellent Vedas through great exertions and in a long time."’
“Lomasa said, ’Having said this to Yavakri, and restored all those to life, the celestials with Indra at their head, ascended to heaven. Here, O Yudhishthira, is the sacred hermitage of that sage embellished with trees bearing blossoms and fruits at all seasons. O tiger among kings, dwelling at this spot, thou wilt be delivered from all thy sins.’”
“Lomasa said, ’O descendant of Bharata, O king, now hast thou left behind the mountains Usiravija, Mainaka and Sweta, as well as the Kala hills. O son of Kunti, O bull among the descendants of Bharata, here flow before thee the seven Gangas. This spot is pure and holy. Here Agni blazeth forth without intermission. No son of Manu is able to obtain a sight of this wonder. Therefore, O son of Pandu, concentrate your mind in order that he may intently behold these tirthas. Now wilt thou see the play-ground of the gods, marked with their footprints, as we have passed the mountain Kala. We shall now ascend that white rock—the mountain Mandara, inhabited by the Yakshas, Manibhadra and Kuvera, king of the Yakshas. O king, at this place eighty thousand fleet Gandharvas, and four times as many Kimpurushas and Yakshas of various shapes and forms, holding various weapons, attend upon Manibhadra, king of the Yakshas. In these regions their power is very great. And in speed they are even as the wind. They can, without doubt, displace even the lord of the celestials from his seat. Protected by them, and also watched over by the Rakshasas, these
“Having thus addressed the river, Lomasa bade Yudhishthira, saying, ’Be thou careful.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’This confusion of Lomasa is unprecedented. Therefore, protect ye Krishna, and be not careless. Lomasa knows this place to be certainly difficult of access. Therefore, do ye practise here the utmost cleanliness.’”
Vaisampayana said, “He next addressed his brother Bhima of vast prowess, saying, ’O Bhimasena, do thou protect Krishna carefully. Whether Arjuna be near or away, Krishna in times of danger ever seeketh protection from thee alone.’
“Then the high-souled monarch approached the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva, and after smelling their heads, and rubbing their persons, with tears said unto them, ‘Do not fear. Proceed, however, with caution.’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’O Vrikodara, there are mighty and powerful invisible spirits at this place. We shall, however, pass it, through the merit of our asceticism and Agnihotra sacrifices. O son of Kunti, do thou therefore, restrain thy hunger and thirst by collecting thy energies, and also, O Vrikodara have recourse to thy strength and cleverness. O Kunti’s son, thou hast heard what the sage (Lomasa) had said regarding mount Kailasa. Ascertain, therefore, after deliberation, how Krishna will pass the spot. Or, O mighty Bhima of large eyes, do return from hence, taking with thee Sahadeva, and all our charioteers, cooks, servants, cars, horses, and Brahmanas worn out with travel, while I together with Nakula and the sage Lomasa of severe austerities proceed, subsisting on the lightest fare and observing vows. Do thou in expectation of my return, cautiously wait at the source of the Ganga, protecting Draupadi till I come back.’
“Bhima replied, ’O descendant of Bharata, although this blessed princess hath been sore afflicted by toil and distress, yet she easily proceedeth, in the hope of beholding him of the white steeds (Arjuna). Thy dejection also is already very great at not seeing the high-souled Arjuna, who never retreateth from fight. O Bharata, it is superfluous then to say that if thou seest neither myself nor Sahadeva nor Krishna, thy dejection will certainly increase. The Brahmanas had better return with our servants, charioteers, cooks and whomsoever else thou mayst command. I never shall leave thee in these rugged and inaccessible mountainous regions, infested by Rakshasas. And, O tiger among men, also this princess of high fortune, ever devoted to her lords, desireth not to return without thee. Sahadeva is always devoted to thee; he too will never retrace his steps. His disposition is known to me. O king, O mighty monarch, we are all eager to behold Savyasachin, and therefore, will we all go together. If we are unable to go over this mountain in our cars, abounding as it doth in defiles, well, we would go on foot. Trouble thyself not, O king, I shall carry Panchala’s daughter wherever she will be incapable of walking. O king, I have decided upon this. Therefore let not thy mind be distracted. I shall also carry over inaccessible tracts those tender-bodied heroes, the twins, the delight of their mother, wherever they will be incapable of proceeding.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’May thy strength increase, O Bhima, as thou speakest thus, and as thou boldly undertakest to carry the illustrious Panchali and these twins. Blessed be thou! Such courage dwelleth not in any other individual. May thy strength, fame, merit, and reputation increase! O long-armed one, as thou offerest to carry Krishna and our brothers the twins, exhaustion and defeat never be thine!’”
Vaisampayana said, “Then the charming Krishna said with a smile, ’O descendant of Bharata, I shall be able to go, and, therefore, be thou not anxious on my account.’
“Lomasa said, ’Access to the mountain, Gandhamadana, is only to be obtained by dint of asceticism. Therefore, O son of Kunti, shall we all practise austerities, O king, Nakula, Sahadeva, Bhimasena, thou and myself shall then see him of the white steeds, O Kunti’s son.’”
Vaisampayana said, “O king, thus conversing together, they saw with delight the extensive domains of Suvahu, situated on the Himalayas abounding in horses and elephants, densely inhabited by the Kiratas and the Tanganas, crowded by hundreds of Pulindas, frequented by the celestials, and rife with wonders. King Suvahu, the lord of the Pulindas, cheerfully received them at the frontiers of his dominions, paying them proper respect. Having been thus received with honour, and having dwelt comfortably at this place, they started for the mountain Himalaya, when the sun shone brightly in the firmament. And, O king, having entrusted to the care of the lord of the Pulindas, all their servants—Indrasena and the others,—and the cooks and the stewards, and Draupadi’s accoutrements, and every thing else, those mighty charioteers, the son of the Kurus, endued with great prowess, set out from that country, and began to proceed cautiously with Krishna,—all of them cheerful in the expectation of beholding Arjuna.
“Yudhishthira said, ’O Bhimasena, O Panchali, and ye twins, hearken unto my words. The acts done (by a person) in a former birth do not perish, (without producing their effects). Behold! Even we have become rangers of the wilderness. Even to see Dhananjaya, exhausted and distressed as we are, we have to bear each other, and pass through impassable places. This burneth me even as fire doth a heap of cotton. O hero, I do not see Dhananjaya at my side. I reside in the wood with my younger brothers, anxious for beholding him. This thought, as also the memory of that grave insult offered to Yajanaseni, consumes me. O Vrikodara, I do not see the invincible Partha of strong bow and incomparable energy, and who is the immediate elder to Nakula. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. In order to see that hero, Dhananjaya, firm in promise, for these five years have I been wandering in various tirthas, and beautiful forests and lakes and yet I do meet with him. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. I do not see the long-armed Gudakesa, of dark blue hue, and leonine gait. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. I do not see that foremost of Kurus, accomplished in arms, skilful in fight, and matchless among bowmen. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. Distressed for I am I do not see that son of Pritha, Dhananjaya, born under the influence of the star Phalguni; ranging amidst foes even like Yama at the time of the universal dissolution; possessed of the prowess of an elephant with the temporal juice trickling down; endued with leonine shoulders; not inferior to Sakra himself in prowess and energy; elder in years to the twins; of white steeds; unrivalled in heroism; invincible; and wielding a strong bow. For this, O Vrikodara, I am miserable. And he is always of a forgiving temper,—even when insulted by the meanest individual. And he conferreth benefit and protection to the righteous; but to that tortuous person who by craft attempts to do him mischief, Dhananjaya is like unto virulent poison, albeit that one were Sakra himself. And the mighty Vibhatsu of immeasurable soul and possessing great strength, showeth mercy and extendeth protection even to a foe when fallen. And he is the refuge of us all and he crusheth his foes in fight. And he hath the power to collect any treasure whatever, and he ministereth unto our happiness. It was through his prowess that I had owned formerly measureless precious jewels of various kinds which at present Suyodhana hath usurped. It was by his might, O hero, that I had possessed before that palatial amphitheatre embellished with all manner of jewels, and celebrated throughout the three worlds. O Pandu’s son, in prowess, Phalguni is like unto Vasudeva, and in fight he is invincible and unrivalled, even like unto Kartavirya. Alas! I see him not, O Bhima. In might, that conqueror of foes goeth in the wake of the invincible and most powerful Sankarshana (Valarama) and Vasudeva. In strength
“Lomasa said, ’O sons of Pandu, ye have seen many a mountain, and river and town and forest and beautiful tirtha; and have touched with your hands the sacred waters. Now this way leads to the celestial mountain Mandara; therefore be ye attentive and composed. Ye will now repair to the residence of the celestials and the divine sages of meritorious deeds. Here, O king, flows the mighty and beautiful river (Alakananda) of holy water adored by hosts of celestials and sages, and tracing its source to (the site of) the jujube tree. It is frequented and worshipped by high-souled Vaihayasas, Valakhilyas and Gandharvas of mighty souls. Accustomed to sing the Sama hymns, the sages, Marichi, Pulaha, Bhrigu and Angiras, chanted them at this spot. Here the lord of celestials performeth with the Marats his daily prayers. And the Sadhyas and the Aswins attend on him. The sun, the moon and all the luminaries with the planets resort to this river, alternately by day and by night. O highly fortunate monarch, that protector of the world, Mahadeva, having a bull for his mark, received on his head the fall of the waters of this river, at the source of the Ganga. O children, approach this goddess of the six attributes and bow down before her with concentrated minds.’
“Hearing the words of the high-souled Lomasa, the son of Pandu reverentially worshipped the river (Ganga), flowing through the firmament. And after having adored her the pious sons of Pandu resumed their journey accompanied by the sages. And it came to pass that those best of men beheld at a distance some white object of vast proportions, even like Meru and stretching on all sides. And knowing that Pandu’s sons were intent upon asking (him), Lomasa versed in speech said, ’Hear, O sons
“Yudhishthira said, ’O worshipful one, relate in particular how Vishnu, the lord of the celestials, raised up the earth sunk a hundred yojanas? In what manner also was that support of all created things—the goddess Earth of high fortune-who dispenseth blessings and bringeth forth all sorts of corn rendered stable? Through whose power had she sunk an hundred yojanas below, and under what circumstances was exhibited this greatest exploit of the Supreme Being? O chief of the twice-born race, I wish to hear all about it in detail as it happened. Certainly, it is known to thee.’
“Lomasa said, ’O Yudhishthira, listen to all at length as I relate the story, which thou hast asked me (to narrate). O child, in days of yore, there was (once) a terrible time in the Krita Yuga when the eternal and primeval Diety assumed the duties of Yama. And, O thou that never fallest off, when the God of gods began to perform the functions of Yama, there died not a creature while the births were as usual. Then there began to multiply birds and beasts and kine, and sheep, and deer and all kinds of carnivorous animals. O tiger among men and vanquisher of foes, then the human race also increased by thousands even like unto a current of water. And, O my son, when the increase of population had been so frightful, the Earth oppressed with the excessive burden, sank down for a hundred yojanas. And suffering pain in all her limbs, and being deprived of her senses by excessive pressure, the earth in distress sought the protection of Narayana, the foremost of the gods. The earth spake saying, “It is by thy favour, O possessor of the six attributes, that I had been able to remain so long in my position. But I have been overcome with burden and now I cannot hold myself any longer. It behoveth thee, O adorable one, to relieve this load of mine. I have sought thy protection. O lord; and do thou, therefore, extend unto me thy favour.” Hearing these words of hers, the eternal lord, possessor of the six attributes, complaisantly said, in words uttered in distinct letters, Vishnu said, “Thou need not fear, O afflicted Earth, the bearer of all treasures. I shall act so that thou mayst be made light."’
“Lomasa said, ’Having thus dismissed the Earth, who hath the mountains for her ear-rings, he suddenly became turned into a boar with one tusk, and of exceeding effulgence. Causing terror with his glowing red eyes and emitting fumes from his blazing lustre, he began to swell in magnitude in that region. O hero, then holding the earth with his single radiant tusk that being who pervadeth the Vedas, raised her up a hundred yojanas. And while she was being thus raised, there ensued a mighty agitation and all the celestials, together with the sages of ascetic wealth became agitated. And heaven, and the firmament, and also the Earth were filled with exclamations of Oh! and Alas! and neither the celestials nor men could rest in peace. Then countless celestials together with the sages went to Brahma, who was seated burning as it were in his (own) lustre. Then approaching Brahma, the lord of celestials, and the witness of the acts of all beings, they with folded hands spake the following words, “O lord of the celestials, all created beings have become agitated and the mobile and immobile creatures are restless. O lord of the celestials, even the oceans are found to be agitated and this whole earth hath gone down a hundred yojanas. What is the matter? And by whose influence is it that the whole universe is in ferment? May
“Lomasa said, ’Then the celestials, placing the grandsire at their head, came to that infinite Soul, and having listened to his praise, bade him adieu and went back to whence they had come.’”
Vaisampayana said, “O Janamejaya, having heard this story, all the Pandavas without delay and with alacrity, began to proceed by the way pointed out by Lomasa.”
Vaisampayana said, “O king, then those foremost of bowmen, of immeasurable prowess, holding bows stringed at full stretch and equipped with quivers and arrows and wearing finger-caps made of the guana-skin, and with their swords on, proceeded with Panchali towards the Gandhamadana, taking with them the best of Brahmanas. And on their way they saw various lakes, and rivers and mountains and forests, and trees of wide-spreading shade on mountain summits and places abounding in trees bearing flowers and fruit in all seasons and frequented by celestials and sages. And restraining their senses within their inner self and subsisting on fruits and roots, the heroes passed through rugged regions, craggy and difficult of passage, beholding many and various kinds of beasts. Thus those high-souled ones entered the mountain inhabited by the sages, the Siddhas and the celestials, and frequented by the Kinnaras and the Apsaras. And, O lord of men, as those mighty heroes were entering the mountain Gandhamandana, there arose a violent wind, attended with a heavy shower. And owing to this, mighty clouds of dust bearing lots of dry leaves, rose, and all on a sudden covered earth, air and firmament. And when the heavens had been covered with dust nothing could be perceived, neither could they (the Pandavas)
Vaisampayana said, “When the high-souled sons of Pandu had proceeded only two miles, Draupadi unaccustomed to travel on foot, sank down. Weary and afflicted as she was, the poor daughter of Panchala became faint, on account of the hailstorm and also of her extreme delicacy. And trembling with faintness, the black-eyed one supported herself on her thighs with her plump arms, becoming (her graceful form). And thus resting for support on her thighs resembling the trunk of an elephant, and which were in contact with each other, she suddenly dropped upon the ground, trembling like a plantain tree. And finding that the beautiful one was falling down like a twisted creeper, Nakula ran forward and supported, her. And he said, ’O king, this black-eyed daughter of Panchala, being weary, hath fallen down upon the ground. Do thou, therefore, tend her, O son of Bharata. Undeserving as she is of misery, this lady of slow pace hath been subject to great hardships, and she is also worn out with the fatigues of the journey. O mighty king, do thou therefore, comfort her.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Having heard these words of Nakula, the king as also Bhima and Sahadeva, became sorely afflicted, and hastily ran towards her. And finding her weak, and her countenance pale, the pious son of Kunti began to lament in grief, taking her on his lap. Yudhishthira said, ’Accustomed to ease, and deserving to sleep in well protected rooms, on beds spread over with fine sheets, how doth this beautiful one sleep prostrate on the ground! Alas! On my account (alone), the delicate feet and the lotus-like face of this one deserving of all excellent things, have contracted a dark-blue hue. O what have I done! Fool that I am, having been addicted to dice, I have been wandering in the forest full of wild beasts, taking Krishna in my company. This large-eyed one had been bestowed by her father, the king of the Drupadas, in the hope that the blessed girl would be happy, by obtaining the sons of Pandu for her lords. It is on account of my wretched self, that without obtaining anything hoped for, she sleepeth prostrate on the ground, tired with hardships, sorrow and travel!’”
Vaisampayana said, “While king Yudhishthira the just was lamenting thus, Dhaumya with all the other principal Brahmanas came to the spot. And they began to console him and to honour him with blessings. And they recited mantras capable of dispelling Rakshasas and (to that end) also performed rites. And on the mantras being recited by the great ascetics, in order to the restoration of (Panchali’s) health, Panchali frequently touched by the Pandavas with their soothing palms and fanned by cool breezes surcharged with particles of water, felt ease, and gradually regained her senses. And finding that exhausted poor lady restored to her senses, the sons of Pritha, placing her on deer-skin, caused her to take rest. And taking her feet of red soles, bearing auspicious marks, the twins began to press them gently with their hands, scarred by the bow-string. And Yudhishthira the just, the foremost of the Kurus, also comforted her and addressed Bhima in the following words: ’O Bhima, there yet remain many mountains (before us), rugged, and inaccessible because of snow. How, long-armed one, will Krishna pass over them?’ Thereupon Bhima said, ’O king, I myself shall carry thee, together with this princess and these bulls among men, the twins; therefore, O king of kings, resign not thy mind unto despair. Or, at thy bidding, O sinless one, Hidimva’s son, the mighty Ghatotkacha, who is capable of ranging the skies and who is like unto me in strength, will carry us all.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Then with Yudhishthira’s permission, Bhima thought of his Rakshasa son. And no sooner was he thought of by his father, than the pious Ghatotkacha made his appearance and, saluting the Pandavas and the Brahmanas, stood with joined hands. And they also caressed him of mighty arms. He then addressed his father, Bhimasena of dreadful prowess, saying, ’Having been thought of by thee I have come here with speed, in order to serve thee. Do thou, O longarmed one, command me. I shall certainly be able to perform whatever thou bidst.’ Hearing this, Bhimasena hugged the Rakshasa to his breast.”
“Yudhishthira said, ’O Bhima, let this mighty and heroic Rakshasa chief, thy legitimate son, devoted to us, and truthful, and conversant with virtue carry (his) mother (Draupadi) without delay. And, O possessor of dreadful prowess, depending on the strength of thy arms, I shall reach the Gandhamadana, unhurt, together with Panchala’s daughter.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Hearing the words of his brother, that tiger among men, Bhimasena, commanded his son, Ghatotkacha, represser of foes, saying, ’O invincible son of Hidimva, this thy mother hath been sorely tired. Thou art, again, strong and capable of going wherever thou likest. Do thou therefore, O ranger of the skies, carry her. May prosperity attend thee! Taking her on thy shoulders, thou shalt go in our company, adopting a course not far overhead,—so that thou mayst not render her uneasy.’ Thereat, Ghatotkacha said, ’Even single-handed, I am able to carry Yudhishthira the just, and Dhaumya, and Krishna, and the twins—and what wonder then that I shall to-day carry them, when I have others to assist me? And, O sinless one, hundreds of other heroic (Rakshasas), capable of moving through the sky, and of assuming any shape at will, will together carry you all with the Brahmanas.’”
Vaisampayana said, “Saying this, Ghatotkacha carried Krishna in the midst of the Pandavas, and the other (Rakshasas) also began to carry the Pandavas. And by virtue of his native energy, Lomasa of incomparable effulgence moved along the path of the Siddhas, like unto a second sun. And at the command of the lord of the Rakshasas, those Rakshasas of terrific prowess began to proceed, bearing all the other Brahmanas, and beholding many a romantic wood. And they proceeded towards the gigantic jujube tree. And carried by the Rakshasas of great speed, proceeding at a rapid pace, the heroes passed over longextending ways quickly, as if over short ones. And on their way they saw various tracts crowded with Mlechchha people, and containing mines of diverse gems. And they also saw hillocks teeming with various minerals, thronged with Vidyadharas, inhabited on all sides by monkeys and Kinnaras and Kimpurushas, and Gandharvas, and filled with peacocks, and chamaras, and apes, and turus, and bears, and gavayas, and buffaloes, intersected with a network of rivulets, and inhabited by various birds and beasts, and beautified by elephants, and abounding in trees and enraptured birds. After having thus passed many countries, and also the Uttarakurus, they saw that foremost of mountains, the Kailasa, containing many wonders. And by the side of it, they beheld the hermitage of Nara and Narayana, with celestial trees bearing flowers and fruits in all seasons. And they also beheld that beautiful jujube of round trunk. And it was fresh; and of deep shade; and of excellent beauty; and of thick, soft and sleek foliage; and healthful;
Vaisampayana said, “There observing cleanliness, those tigers among men dwelt for six nights, in expectation of beholding Dhananjaya. And it came to pass that all of a sudden there blew a wind from the north-east and brought a celestial lotus of a thousand petals and effulgent as the sun. And Panchali saw that pure and charming lotus of unearthly fragrance, brought by the wind and left on the ground. And having obtained that excellent and beautiful lotus, that blessed one became exceedingly delighted, O king, and addressed Bhimasena in the following words, ’Behold, O Bhima, this most beautiful unearthly flower having within it the very source of fragrance. It gladdenth my heart, O represser of foes. This one shall be presented to Yudhishthira the just. Do thou, therefore, procure others for my satisfaction—in order that I may carry them to our hermitage in the Kamyaka. If, O Pritha’s son, I have found grace with thee, do thou then procure others of this
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